Vidas: Let’s start Episode 95 of #AskVidasAndAusra podcast. And today’s question was sent by Rivadavia. And she has a struggle with patience, and she writes that she lacks patience and even perhaps lack of memory, when she practices. So Ausra, do you think that people often lack patience when they encounter difficult spots in organ playing?
Ausra: I think so. Not everybody, maybe; but yes, I think that might be a problem for some people. So are you patient, when you practice?
Vidas: Usually I’m patient enough to overcome difficult spots; but sometimes, yeah, I get into the trap of feeling frustrated, and then switch to something else. Do you think that people have to stick to the practice no matter what, or is it ok to take a break--take a drink, walk, stretch--and then come back?
Ausra: Yes, I think it’s good to take a break, but I think it’s bad to quit practicing a particular piece; because a lack of patience might mean that when you find out that this piece will be hard for you to learn, you discover some hard spots, sometimes you just quit, because you don’t have enough patience.
Vidas: Have you ever quit a piece in your life?
Ausra: Well, let me think about it. Yes, I think that I did, way back. I think I quit one choral fantasia by Max Reger.
Ausra: But I think it was probably the trouble or a bad decision of my former teacher, because I think I was still too young and not experienced enough to learn such a hard piece.
Vidas: That’s right. And I think I quit some piano pieces back in high school, because they were simply too virtuosic for me. So...when people like Rivadavia, for example, encounter a difficult spot, right, and they want to quit--what should they do first? How should they motivate themselves?
Ausra: Well, that’s a good question. Very hard one.
Vidas: What about simplifying the problem? Instead of climbing a big mountain, right--like you say, mastering a Chorale Fantasia by Reger--maybe mastering a smaller episode first?
Ausra: Yes, that could be; but you need patience for that, too.
Vidas: Or not even an entire episode, but a solo line, of RH or pedal line, of that episode.
Ausra: That might be a good idea.
Vidas: You see guys, I think a step-by-step approach is slow, but it’s very firm, and a very positive way to reinforce yourself in your goals. If you’re taking this step, and the next step, and the next, you’re surely moving towards your goal. Would you agree, Ausra?
Ausra: Yes. The slow process guarantees you a good result at the end of it.
Vidas: So why do people quit, if the slow, step-by-step approach works?
Ausra: Because you need patience to work slowly, and not everybody has it. But it’s not necessarily related to organ practicing. If you have patience in one site of your life, you will have patience throughout your life, too.
Vidas: Do you think that people quit when they don’t see results?
Ausra: Could be, too, yes.
Vidas: Because if they feel results--some kind of results, even basic results--they feel compelled to take action even further. But if they just keep spinning their wheels, then they think inside their head that it’s not worth it. Right?
Ausra: Might be, yes.
Vidas: They’re not getting anywhere.
Ausra: So I think it’s a good thing not to pick up too hard pieces at first, and not to expect too much from yourself in a very short time.
Vidas: And celebrate small victories.
Ausra: That’s true. Enjoy small things.
Vidas: Give yourself a treat, whatever a treat might mean for you. Celebrate every small step, because each small step will lead you to success, whatever success means for you. Wonderful. So, another part of this question is of course, lack of memory. So Rivadavia is struggling not only with patience, but with memory. What do you think is happening, Ausra, for her? Is she trying to memorize some passages and struggling?
Ausra: Sounds like that. Yes, then just play from the music. You don’t have to memorize it, necessarily, if you are practicing organ.
Vidas: True, because memory is not everything, I think. You have to read music...
Ausra: That’s true.
Vidas: And memorize only the pieces that you want to keep for a long time.
Ausra: Yes, that’s right.
Vidas: Wonderful. We will discuss the problem of lack of memory in the next episode. And for now, just keep up your practice. And remember, when you practice…
Ausra: Miracles happen.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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