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  • Writer's pictureEvelyn Kuznetsova

"My teacher doesn't motivate me...”

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

I think whatever instrument you’re playing, singing it’s not always easy to stay motivated (especially during a lockdown).

Let’s be honest, playing piano isn’t always about enjoying the music and things are not always come easy! Sometimes it’s a lot of hours of fighting with some bad habits, or uncomfortably written pieces, going through some failures day by day to achieve a result that you can be happy with. It can be quite challenging and frustrating.

I see a lot of adult students coming in saying their previous teacher didn’t motivate them, which is something I disagree with. My point of view here is different, I think that a teacher is your tool when you have a goal/motivation. No one can motivate you to practice or learn a song/piece if you don’t really want to or if you’re doing it for someone else. It’ll only last so long.

But getting some inspiration on the other hand is a different thing and in my opinion every teacher should be able to help their students with finding inspiration.

But where to find the motivation?

  1. Try to find it in yourself.

Think of why you started your creative journey in the first place? Why did you want to do this? Do you enjoy music? You need to find a good motivation for yourself in yourself. It could be - developing your skills, being able to play/sing anything you want, understand music better, record a piece at a studio, learn a favorite song for your loved ones, to sing at an open mic, win a competition or maybe even start composing? Whatever the goal is - you need to have it in order to stay motivated.

2. Art

Even when you have a clear goal sometimes it’s getting a bit difficult and you need a little bit of inspiration. Find some artists you like online and go have a look at their paintings. A lot of composers were gaining their inspiration from painters. Take a closer look at their palette, colors and themes of their paintings. You might find similarities with music! For example, by looking at impressionists you can better understand music by Debussy!

3. Books

Another way to get inspiration is to dig into biographies of musicians, composers and famous teachers. At some point I was very much into composers like Liszt, Bach, and I read a lot of books written by music critics about them. They were writing about style, ways of playing, practicing. So by doing that you might find answers that you were looking to find and get more interested/involved in your pieces.

4. Theatre & films

Theatre is another thing that will help you a lot. Playing the piano/singing isn’t as far from acting as you might think. Whatever pieces/songs you’re performing - they are all about different characters. They all have their own story, motivation and you have a whole play under your fingers with a lot of different voices to awaken and turn into an act/story. It’s not just music and it’s not all about your technique. Performing is a very complex act. So go and check theatre performances (online in lockdown🤷🏻‍♀️).

What inspires you? And what’s your motivation? Let me know in the comments

Evelyn Bates

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