Deciding to not give up on a piece – December 2012

A couple of weeks ago I had another lesson with Michael at his church. 

For over a year, I have been learning the Adagio movement from Widor’s Symphony No. 5. I am still having technical issues with this piece as was evident when I played it at my lesson. I usually play the correct notes at home, but I was not as successful at my lesson. My usage of the expression pedal was not accurate enough – the expression pedal is used to create crescendos and decrescendos (increase or decrease the volume). As I was playing, Michael interrupted several times to point out issues and then I would attempt to correct and move on. I kept making mistakes. 

Michael proposed that I may be making more mistakes than usual because of all the interruptions which tend to increase my nervousness. So he had me play it all the way through from start to finish without stopping even if I made an error. I didn’t play it perfectly but it did feel good to play the entire piece. My rendition is not performance ready. Then Michael asked a question: did I want to continue perfecting the piece or move on to another piece leaving this one unfinished? I heard this as: Do you want to give up?

Giving up would be easier but I would likely regret it later. I didn’t want to give up! I decided to continue with it for at least one more lesson. It feels close to being complete and the finish line is in sight! 
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Heidi Bender writes about her experiences of learning to play the organ. She started on the adventure in 2009.

She also writes on her website Tons of Thanks, which helps people write thank-you notes. Heidi is also a cat lady who writes at The Joy of Cats.

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