Learn play Piano




Learning to Memorize Piano Music

Paul Tobey

We all have our psychological, emotional, mental and physical barriers when it comes to practicing and/or performing. One such particularly difficult challenge is that many pianists simply cannot remember a piece. However, it is the emotional reaction to not remembering a piece which is the most painful. In fact, what it creates is stress. And, that is a huge problem and very difficult barrier that pianists need to overcome.

Knowing what stress is however can completely change your perspective. Here s the real definition of stress;

Stress is the amount of energy you put into resisting your situation.

This will help to change your behavior and therefore, if you change your behavior, you change the results. The first step is to become aware of your internal dialogue when you approach the piano. What is your little voice telling you? Is it saying, I feel guilty for not doing what is expected of me ? Is it saying, I m not good enough, talented enough, smart enough, disciplined enough ?

What you focus on expands. If you focus on what you cannot do or are not able to do, that will expand. If you focus on what you can do, that will expand as well.

When you are sitting at the piano, your thoughts become reality. Your thoughts instantly take form as you are creating. Your barrier may be that you are focused on what once was, instead of focusing on the now! If all you do is focus on the fact that it was once easy for you to memorize, you are not focusing on the now. Present moment awareness is the key to learning to play the piano or any other instrument. It is also the key to learning anything in life that s worthwhile learning.

The next time you practice just sit at the piano and meditate on what you are feeling. Don t play, just feel. Does it feel stressful, joyful or painful? Are you anticipating stress or anticipating pain? Are you looking forward to playing or are you hearing little scripts in your head saying you used to be great, now your not, you are not this, that, etc ? What are you feeling?

The next day, sit at the piano again and turn your attention to the now. Feel the joy of playing. Feel the joy of what it is to make beautiful sounds. Just let your hands explore over the keys, and listen to every note like it was the most beautiful sound you ever made! You are in the now! No one can steal this moment and pure joy from you. Feel the joy and the freedom in the now.

Once you have gone through this little exercise, and you are in the now, and every note becomes beautiful even wrong notes. Now, in the present moment, without any negative thoughts to the contrary, you are ready to learn one thing at a time.

I teach the 10-24-7 Paul Tobey method! This means that you learn one thing at a time with 100% of your energy, learn it again in 24 hours and again in 7 days. Your retention rate for this one thing will go up 85%.

There s a term we use for this type of learning and it s called accelerated learning techniques or advanced learning techniques. It s what I teach in my seminars because it s what works best for me and for the hundreds of people I ve taught it to.

Your barriers are not in the brain. It s not a malfunction of your intellectual or physical ability. Your barriers (self-perceived limitations) are our little voices that constantly speak to us from deep within in our brains. You can eliminate it but, first you must understand it. You must stop feeling like a victim. You must stop focusing on the past (who you were), and start focusing on who you are (in the now). Your passion for the piano is evident. Your passion is living in the now.

The question is, how long is your past going to control your present? If want to experience freedom at the piano, all you have to do is sit on the bench, let your hands feel the notes, and listen to every note like it was the best note you ever played. Then, without judging yourself, or any note you play, just learn one thing in the now. Do it again in 24 hours, and again in 7 days.

Remember, don t judge what you can or cannot do. Just feel, and be aware of the little voice inside your mind. And when it says to you I can t memorize this piece, just say to your mind thanks for sharing, and go right back to the joy of playing.

Paul Tobey`s has been a professional concert pianist for more than 25 years. He performs piano music standards which has won him numerous awards and world-wide media attention.

Twombly`s tempietto: the Menil Collection, architect Renzo Piano and the artist himself have joined in creating a permanent Cy Twombly installation - Report From Houston

Art in America , Feb, 1995 by Charles Dee Mitchell

The permanent installation of some 35 paintings and sculptures by Cy Twombly that opens this month on the grounds of the Menil Collection in Houston bears a straightforward name, the Cy Twombly Gallery. Paul Winkler, the director of the Menil Collection (named for collectors Dominique and John de Menil), is probably only half kiddding when he says that the name is the outcome of a two-year discussion. The identity of the Cy Twombly Gallery--it to be a museum? a pavilion? an annex?--has evolved slowly over the seven years since the Menil Collection opened [see A.i.A., June `87]. Hesitation over the name does not connote waffling so much as a desire to define precisely the nature of the project the museum found itself undertaking.

Soon after opening to the public in 1987, the Menil Collection planned a dual presentation of work by John Chamberlain and Twombly. Twombly`s other commitments made his participation impractical at the time, but the seed was planted for a future collaboration between the museum and the artist. In 1989, the Menil Collection mounted a Twombly exhibition, combining its own holdings with work borrowed from the Dia Center for the Arts (co-founded by the Menils` daughter, Philippa) and other sources. But finally it was the artist`s own growing commitment to a larger project that propelled the Cy Twombly Gallery to its final form. Twombly expressed his interest in making a significant gift of works to the museum from his own collection and as early as 1988 sketched plans for a two-room gallery to house them. As the number of works he would make available grew, Twombly`s original two-room plan expanded into a building composed of nine equally proportioned square galleries. It was this concept that Winkler carried to Renzo Piano, the architect of the Menil Collection proper, for final realization.

Most discussions of Renzo Piano`s design for the Menil Collection building mention the effortless manner in which the museum blends into the surrounding residential area. This description overlooks the fact that the Menil Foundation, which manages the museum, has absorbed and transformed a portion of that neighborhood. The brick and frame houses across the street from the museum grounds have been painted, like the museum itself, that midrange gray which today, almost anywhere in the Western world, signals the presence of art.

Piano`s new building, across the street from the southeast comer of the museum, is the only structure in the complex that breaks with the subtle uniformity of the cool gray coloring. Since its entrance faces demurely away from the street onto a green space dominated by an oak tree, visitors coming from the museum first encounter an approximately 100-foot facade of uniformly sized concrete blocks--sand from a quarry near San Antonio gives the concrete its pale red color. Seen from outside, the complex structure of the roof, with its visible skylights and beams supporting a cantilevered system of light-diffusing louvers, transforms the rectangular box of the building into a truncated pyramid. These alterations in color and material define the building as a new endeavor and keep the structure from appearing to be in anyway a "mini-Menil."

The scale of Piano`s exhibition space, like the scale of the museum itself, is deceptive without being tricky. In any single room of the Twombly Gallery, you feel that you could easily be in a building many times larger, and yet, when you consider the structure from the exterior, it is not clear where all this perceived space has come from. Visitors pass quickly through the public foyer of the building into the first gallery, a room with views into three adjoining spaces. While Piano`s first plan was for nine 28-foot-square galleries, the final version consists of eight galleries, one of them a doubled version of the others, expanded to accommodate some of Twombly`s largest gray paintings of the 1970s. In a building of such order and simplicity, this double gallery has a disproportionate effect on a viewer`s experience of the space. A similar economy of means again has a maximal effect in the central gallery, which, with its single entry, slightly higher ceiling and artificial light, makes you feel as if y ou`ve suddenly entered a different building. Uniform throughout the space are white plaster walls and flooring made of 8-inch-square sections of light oak.

Piano`s devotion to unobtrusive but state-of-the-art technology manifests itself in his management of the natural light that fills all but the central gallery. The roof contains permanently placed louvers that filter out 60 percent of the Texas sun. Glazed skylights form the next step in the filtration process and create the actual covering for most of the building. Inside, computerized mechanical louvers will make periodic adjustments for morning and afternoon light, Their workings take place behind what visitors perceive as the ceiling of the galleries, a seamless expanse of white cotton cloth.

Since so many Twomblys (roughly three-quarters of the works on view) come directly from the artist, there are numerous paintings that have not been seen in public since their initial gallery showings, if ever. Among these are works from as early as 1954, but of particular interest for American audiences is a group of nine exuberant green paintings on wooden panels that have been exhibited only once before, in Venice at the 1988 Biennale. Along with a number of pieces donated by the Dia Center for the Arts, the installation includes several works that have been pulled from the traveling Twombly retrospective [see page 60]. The opening of the Twombly retrospective at the main museum of the Menil Collection coincides with the inauguration of the Twombly Gallery.

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