Play Hard music without practicing at all

I'd like talk to you about how non-professional pianists are getting the short end of the stick.

Get your copy of the ebook "Take Yourself Seriously" today.

$15 USD

I want to empathize with you. Piano is hard.

This stuff is hard and confusing. It’s no wonder you feel discouraged.

You care so much about music, you’re so fascinated by it. That’s why you practice the piano and obsess over it. You want to play difficult music, the music you enjoy, the music you’re obsessed with. You want to play it well without practicing much.

You're discouraged.

You’re taking piano lessons and you kinda suspect your teacher doesn’t really care about you.

  • Is it because you’re not a child and thus don’t have parents who might get angry on your behalf?
  • Is it because you’re not a professional and thus your successes won’t matter much to your teacher’s reputation?

Do you trust your teacher? Truly, fully, and completely? Are they giving you the real lessons?

Because the fact is, you need help.

You quit pieces before they’re “done”. You’re embarrassed about this, but it’s true. That’s you.

Is it screwing you over? The folks on Facebook say “yes, definitely.” Others may give a different opinion, but who knows the truth? It’s impossible to tell. There’s so much bickering.

It would be fine if you were a little kid. You’d have adults to take care of you, and you’d have your whole life ahead of you.

But, you’re an adult. Your childhood is gone and you’re left wondering:“have I wasted all that time?”

You see a child prodigy on YouTube and that makes it even worse. You’ll never play that well, you think.

Can you feel the pain of not being able to master hard pieces without quitting?

I wrote this ebook because I wanted to help you. To share what I’ve learned about what’s wrong with the way the piano community treats “amateur” pianists. I don’t like it, and I want to change it.

More importantly, I want you to change it.

After all, I’m just a guy writing a sales page.

I'm giving you permission to be a musical artist.

  • I want you to feel good about speaking up to piano teachers and being obnoxious.

  • I want you to be able to experiment freely with the way you practice and play the piano. If you want to dedicate yourself to a piece, you should be able to do that. If you want to quit, you should be able to do that too.

  • Finally, I want you to have the permission to feel your feelings while practicing, even if they’re “negative” feelings like frustration or boredom. The piano community doesn’t want that for you. I do.

It is rare to see something written for serious adult amateurs, and by someone who went that route. I had it on as an audiobook while doing chores – the first chapter on various aspects regarding teachers, I was saying “right” and “certainly” out loud a few times. :D A lot of the things, I wished I’d heard this when I first started my first ever lessons some time ago; it took me years to at least partly find my way out of holes due to some of those things.

Inge Amateur Pianist

Own your power as a pianist.

I know what goes on in your head, what you fantasize about. You want to play difficult music, the music that those idiots on Facebook say is too difficult.

You’re smart enough that you can make your own decision about how to practice. But, you’re intimidated. Still, you fantasize about it, about giving the finger to those morons.

And yeah, you’d love nothing more than to yell at your teacher and demand they push you. It’s not socially-acceptable to say those things out loud, but you still want it.

If you want a collaborative relationship with your piano teacher (you know, the kind where they serve you rather than letting your laziness call the shots), you can get this. It’s hard, but you can do it.

It’s OK to want to play hard music. That's how you get good at piano.

So, my question for you is: are you ready to be a serious pianist?

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, we may have found a good fit:

  • Are you ready to speak up and demand respect from your teacher?
  • Are you ready to stop whining about the lost past and get to work?
  • Are you ready to stop being an “amateur” and act like the artist you are?
  • Are you ready to dig into the music and appreciate it for all its complexity?
  • Are you ready to experience your own damn emotions and let them teach you what they’re designed to teach you?

If not, do some soul-searching and find out what it is you’re really looking for. Maybe it’s this, maybe it’s something else.

Common excuses for acting like an "amateur" pianist.

I know there are things you tell yourself about why you can’t rise to the challenge.

Excuses are fine, but the time to let them run your life is over.

  • "I started too late."
  • "My past teachers got me off on the wrong foot."
  • "I'm not assertive."
  • "I'm not diligent or organized."
  • "I suck at setting goals and following through on them."
  • "I have an addictive personality and would rather binge Netflix."

Only once we get past the excuses can we work on where you feel stuck as a pianist.

  • You’ve been working on a piece forever and you feel like you’re getting diminishing returns. Do you quit or not?
  • Your teacher is really good but you don’t know if they’re putting their all into it and you’re afraid of hurting their feelings. Do you quit or not?
  • You’ve tried so much contradictory advice but you don’t have enough experience nor have put enough time in to be able to tell exactly what’s working and what isn’t. Do you practice this way or that way?
  • You want to play impressive pieces but easier pieces are…easier. What do you do?

Should you be doing all those things? That’s not for me to say. It’s for you to say. And you’re saying “yes”. And they’re not happening.

So, let’s get unstuck.

Let’s get to a point where you can look in the mirror and be happy with your piano skills.

I want you to be a real pianist, someone who's...

  • excited about how you play (yes, even to show off)
  • admired by teachers and peers
  • making rapid progress
  • able to teach others (!)

About Michael

I wrote this based on my own experiences. I have a master’s degree in piano and I’m a professional pianist. But, there was a time when I was an “amateur”. I cared a lot about how I played and I struggled.

Now, I don’t give a fuck. That’s what acceptance and mindfulness have taught me. (You’re not there yet. Go one step at a time.)

For me, every single moment is creative expression and an exercise. I don’t care about comparing myself to others. Even those child prodigies.

I want everyone to be an artist. Everyone already is an artist, but I want it to be understood. I want acceptance, compassion and empathy to be normalized. I want practicing to be about experimentation, creativity and playfulness.