This is something I’ve been debating a lot. I am a pianist, I learned piano from the age of 6 until I was 13. Didn’t get all that far, about grade 3 or something. Never really did any practise so it wasn’t surprising. Giving up was the biggest regret of my life.
A couple of years ago I properly discovered blues and jazz, particularly the music of New Orleans, and about 18 months ago I started teaching myself to play piano again. I am way beyond where I was as a kid, as I’ve never been so motivated to succeed at something and make up for lost time.
Currently I’m playing a lot of pieces around grade 7 (UK). Since, I’ve had a couple of trial lessons with a few teachers, who have said some nice things about my potential, but it hasn’t worked out (I do recgonise that with the right teacher, progress would be quicker, technique more refined etc).
My beef with most (music) teachers, is that they tend to cater to people who want to make average progress, in an average time frame, and ultimately with money tight I can’t justify paying for average results. There are no excellent teachers around where I live. It sounds arrogant, but I have such a burning desire to succeed at becoming excellent (no desire to go pro), that I feel from my experience as a kid that I would be held back (or maybe frustrated is a better word) by taking lessons with most of these teachers.
Consequently, I am left to my own devices to structure my practise routines. I know there are some excellent musicians on here, who have achieved a high level of expertise, and I was wondering how you guys went about getting there as efficiently as possible.
I was thinking that it may be worth experimenting with structuring my practise in the same way as you might structure a workout. Ideas such as: picking a main piece to work on (each piece 1-2 times a week), and then doing support work for that piece, such as exercises, relevant scales, etc, including a lot of ‘high volume’ type stuff, so picking an exercise that is easy to play right, but working on doubling the speed, or reharmonising, or whatever.
Basically any advice would be appreciated, as getting an excellent teacher is out of the question (for now)