Encouragement for Seniors

Image
Something to do with playing your keyboard but don't know where to put it? Post in here.

Encouragement for Seniors

Postby PeterA » 15 Nov 2017 09:50

Now well in to my 70’s, I’m conscious that the aging issue is significant for many senior organists.
I know that for some this can be a delicate area, but we still want to practice, and continue playing well. We still want to perfect our skills and share them with other members. However, we also feel that the learning process takes more time and it is not as easy as it once was. Beside that our joints including our fingers are not as flexible as they were when we were younger.

So here are a few, I hope, helpful and encouraging considerations for us senior folk to consider, in order to enjoy playing our keyboards.

1. Enjoy every moment when seated at the keyboard
Always remember that practice is a privilege, for which we have to be grateful. Sharing our skills with others is another great privilege. Keeping this in mind, keyboard playing should be an activity that we treasure, knowing how much we would miss it, if we lost the opportunity. So really enjoy it.

2. Take your time and don't rush
At this stage of our lives, don't push yourself too hard. Although the learning process might take longer than it used to, we are still making progress. So don't attempt to play very fast, with a new piece. Start your practice at such a tempo where you can avoid making (too many) mistakes and thereby stay in control.

3. Play only pieces that you really love
There is no point in practicing music which someone else has given to you that you don't enjoy or has little musical quality. The same could be said for those dry exercises, unless of course they are meaningful to you and lead to the advancement of your skills.

4. Make frequent breaks in your practice sessions
It is good advice for people to take rests, to relax, and be prepared to stretch about every 30 minutes or so. I find certain muscles – especially in my back, demand this. For older seniors, the breaks might have to be even more frequent. If you feel tired after playing for 15 minutes, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Take a short break, walk a little, stretch or lie down with your eyes closed or have a drink. Then you will feel refreshed and will be able to practice for at least another 15 minutes, and make quality use of the time.

5 Think about master pianists and organists of the past, who might have been your age, or even older
For example, Johann Adam Reincken, who was baptized about Dec 10th 1643 and died Nov 24th 1722, but some claims to his birth are much earlier. We know that he was still active as an organist in St. Catherine's church in Hamburg at the beginning of the 18th century. Whatever his actual birth date, he was certainly still mastering the organ, well into his late 80’s. He knew Dieterich Buxtehude closely and influenced Vincent Lübeck and probably met Johann Sebastian Bach. Although their meeting may be apocryphal, J.S.Bach was both impressed and influenced by Reincken, both as an organist and a composer.

In this painting, Domestic Music Scene by Johannes Voorhout, the man at the harpsichord is almost certainly Reincken, on his left most probably Dieterich Buxtehude playing the viola da gamba, and on his right, below the harpsichord, possibly Johann Theile.

Image

Do any of you have any particular thoughts or tips, that you find helpful, which would be of value to other ‘senior’ members? If so, please feel free to share them with us.

Peter
Image
User avatar
PeterA
Active Poster
 
Posts: 82
Joined: 14 Oct 2017 10:19

Re: Encouragement for Seniors

Postby dragon » 15 Nov 2017 10:27

I am 87 and play the organ daily when migraine and tinnitus allow me to enjoy the experience. This week I have joined an 'over 60s choir' and am really liking singing again after a void of over 30 years. .. Fred
Roland BK-7m. Tyros4 LOWREY RIALTO
Image
User avatar
dragon
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 2323
Joined: 25 Jul 2012 10:38
Location: Nottingham

Re: Encouragement for Seniors

Postby Hugh-AR » 15 Nov 2017 13:09

Peter,

I like your No: 4. A glass of wine always helps!

Seriously though, I think No: 3 is a very important point. I could probably sit down and just play 100 tunes, but I have no inclination to do that! We did that in the band. Been there, done that. I like to get some inspiration for a tune I want to play, and set up something special for it .. and I will spend hours, if not days doing it.

But I'm not suggesting that everyone is like me. People say to me, "Have you got a keyboard to spend your time playing it, or mucking about with all the technology?" Well, you know my answer to that one, but point taken.

Hugh
It's all about the music. Yamaha AR 80 Player.
Image .. Image
Challenge Winner
2018 August (Joint Winner); October (Joint Winner); November (Joint Winner); December (Joint Winner)
2019 March (Joint Winner); May (Joint Winner); June (Joint Winner); October Winner
User avatar
Hugh-AR
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 3816
Joined: 07 Feb 2015 14:34
Location: Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, UK

Re: Encouragement for Seniors

Postby papadeedee » 15 Nov 2017 18:55

I used to read a lot of Tony Buzan on how to master your memory. I think a lot of it has stayed with me.
When I am memorising a piece of music I utilise every method I can to consolidate the music into my long term memory with the use of mnemonics.

Mnemonic

A mnemonic device, or memory device, is any learning technique that aids information retention in the human memory. Mnemonics make use of elaborative encoding, retrieval cues, and imagery as specific tools to encode any given information in a way that allows for efficient storage and retrieval. Mnemonics aid original information in becoming associated with something more meaningful—which, in turn, allows the brain to have better retention of the information. Commonly encountered mnemonics are often used for lists and in auditory form, such as short poems, acronyms, or memorable phrases, but mnemonics can also be used for other types of information and in visual or kinaesthetic forms. Their use is based on the observation that the human mind more easily remembers spatial, personal, surprising, physical, sexual, humorous, or otherwise "relatable" information, rather than more abstract or impersonal forms of information.

I am presently memorising a piece of music. This how I am going about it. I say various things that will jog my memory to remember what notes to play.
The chords were not written down so I have at present figured out the first 18 bars. (one bar at a time) Even better if the chords are already written down
Bar 1, I played the music and said the chord out loud. then bar 2 and said the chord out loud. Played bars one and two
saying the chords out loud. Bar 3 same, then bars 1,2 and 3 same. repeating all the way to bar 11. Every time I say the chord, I can
remember the phrase. On bar 12, I said Gm 2nd inversion. This reminds me that I have to play a full chord. I will remember which other notes to play in this bar. Bar 13, I say Eb root, bar 14, 15 and 16, I say the chords out loud as before. Bar 17 I say "C minor twice," this reminds me to play two inversions on beats one and two and I will remember what other notes to play. I am up to bar 18 now.
I am laid back about it. I will finish the tune in due course. Playing it slowly, then at the correct speed.
The more of the senses you can involve, the better. Sight, reading the music. Auditory, speaking out loud and listening to the tune. Kinaesthetic, Touching the keys.
Sometimes I turn the music round and play until I get stuck and then figure out what I have to do to proceed.

If you want to remember a pin number for instance, make pictures in your head. take 5 3 8 2. Think of a yourself diving into a tree (dive-five)
(Tree -three) the tree crashing on to a gate (gate -eight) the gate opening and then jamming on a giant shoe. (two-shoe) Our brain can remember pictures much more easily than lists of numbers. Make the pictures as bright and as bold as you want, create sound effects, colours the more imaginative the better.
Image
User avatar
papadeedee
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 2094
Joined: 22 Nov 2014 12:57
Location: Paisley Scotland

Re: Encouragement for Seniors

Postby PeterA » 16 Nov 2017 07:58

Absolutely fascinating, Brian. I expect we have all done similar things in different areas of regular daily life, but I confess I never thought about this in respect of remembering music/chords. Very helpful, thank you.
Image
User avatar
PeterA
Active Poster
 
Posts: 82
Joined: 14 Oct 2017 10:19

Re: Encouragement for Seniors

Postby papadeedee » 16 Nov 2017 12:52

Peter, I am glad you commented. I will add a bit more.
I haven't played Tico Tico for about six months. I had done all of the above to learn it in the first place.
It is two different arrangements that I combined together. One by Kenneth Baker and the other from an Ethel Smith book.
I remembered most of it but I have had to insert little triggers to jog my memory. There is a lot of repetition with slight variations and
the trigger words help me to know what stage I am at in the tune and which phrase to play. It also keeps my concentration and stops my mind from wandering.
I will say things such as "B" to remind me what passage to play or "4" my fourth finger starts the next phrase or I may say "Sharp" to
remind me to place my thumb on a sharp note to get the correct inversion and the correct phrase will go with it.
It really doesn't matter what you say so long as it triggers the correct phrase to play, you could say bananas to link that with a particular phrase, then oranges for the next phrase. and so on.
I will get round to posting the finished article in the performance board in due course but underneath is my slower rehearsal with no sheet music but with trigger words.
I enjoyed doing this, I hope it is of value.

Image
User avatar
papadeedee
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 2094
Joined: 22 Nov 2014 12:57
Location: Paisley Scotland

Re: Encouragement for Seniors

Postby PeterA » 16 Nov 2017 15:35

Most helpful. I am eagerly anticipating the complete article.
When we read a book or listen to a play or story on the radio, we draw pictures in our mind to visualise the events. It also assists us to remember things, because 'pictures can speak louder than words'. When you say "Bananas" or "4" you are doing something similar and that pictorial view enables you to respond accurately and quickly.
Of course, my wife will think I am bananas, when playing my Yamaha AR, with my headphones on, but coming out with strange random words at regular intervals. Another symptom of our advancing age!
Image
User avatar
PeterA
Active Poster
 
Posts: 82
Joined: 14 Oct 2017 10:19

Re: Encouragement for Seniors

Postby Hugh-AR » 16 Nov 2017 17:21

Brian,

Tell you what .. that is the best rendering of Tico Tico that I have ever heard! Maybe it's because you have played it more slowly and the notes played are more meaningful to me. Anyway, I enjoyed listening to that!

To go back to your mnemonics. Trouble is when you brain doesn't remember the 'trigger' associated with what it is you are trying to remember. An example of this. Down at our local Thai Restaurant (they are lovely people) the daughter has started working in the Restaurant. We asked her her name, and she said 'Patti'. Well, that's an easy one to remember. My sister's name was Pat so there was an immediate association. Just imagine my sister working there serving the customers.

Well, next time we went when she was there, could either of us remember her name? I knew I had associated something with her name, but couldn't remember what. We didn't like to ask her her name again, so asked her Mum (on the quiet). I find this happens more often as I get older. And the funny thing is, whatever it is I can't remember, my wife can't remember it either!

Hugh

PS. I don't think we shall forget her name again!
It's all about the music. Yamaha AR 80 Player.
Image .. Image
Challenge Winner
2018 August (Joint Winner); October (Joint Winner); November (Joint Winner); December (Joint Winner)
2019 March (Joint Winner); May (Joint Winner); June (Joint Winner); October Winner
User avatar
Hugh-AR
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 3816
Joined: 07 Feb 2015 14:34
Location: Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, UK

Re: Encouragement for Seniors

Postby papadeedee » 16 Nov 2017 17:38

Yes Peter, you are spot on about creating pictures in our minds although I am told that, depending in which is our favoured "representational system," A visually oriented person makes pictures, an Auditory oriented person hears the sounds and a kinaesthetic oriented person feels the sensations. I don't know about all of that :roll: but I believe the more of the senses you can engage, the easier it is to learn. :)
Image
User avatar
papadeedee
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 2094
Joined: 22 Nov 2014 12:57
Location: Paisley Scotland

Re: Encouragement for Seniors

Postby papadeedee » 16 Nov 2017 17:46

Hugh, I think by forgetting what you have associated the trigger to, means that you have not encoded the information sufficiently.
I am the same as you, I forget things all the time but if I really want to remember something, I make strong connections which makes it much less likely that I will fail to remember it. There are of course other ways to consolidate the information into your long term memory.
Brian
ps, had you imagined for example that your sister Pat was sitting next to you and shouting loudly "hey everybody Patti's name is almost the same as as Mine . How do you spell your name ? is it PATTI ? "
I guarantee you would remember her name as soon as you sat down at a table.
Image
User avatar
papadeedee
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 2094
Joined: 22 Nov 2014 12:57
Location: Paisley Scotland


Return to Miscellaneous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron