Robert Estrin - piano expert

Don't Find Your Mistakes, Find the Corrections

An essential tip for all musicians

In this video, Robert gives you an interesting perspective to fix mistakes without focusing on them. How is that possible?

Released on August 5, 2020

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, and welcome to, I'm Robert Estrin. And today the subject is, "Don't find your mistakes, find the correction." Now, this may seem counterintuitive or even pointless, like, "Don't have to find your mistake to find the correction?" Well, indeed, you need to find where the problem is. But beyond that, you don't want us to hunt for, "What did I do wrong?" I know a lot of students that they want to find the mistake. And what I really hate is when they not only want to find the mistake, they want to replay it to see what it was. It's like, no, don't do that. Because you want to cement the correction right from the get go.

Now, this might seem like an arbitrary distinction, but think about this, for example, when you play a concert, you obviously want to play a good performance. You want to have secure memory, but there's a big difference between going out there and thinking the whole time, "Oh, I hope I don't miss. I hope I remember everything. Am I going to remember the third movement?" If you start thinking that way, it's a downward spiral, because whatever you think about, tends to manifest itself.

You hear about visualization, having this concept in your head and seeing things the way you want them to be in some future event. Visualization could be extremely valuable in a concert situation in this way. So imagine yourself on stage with an audience there, with a nice piano, and things going well, just the way you want them to. And you're much more likely for that to happen, than, if in preparation for your concert, you're thinking, "Oh my God, what if I mess up? What's going to happen."

You start imagining that in the back of your mind, and it keeps percolating there. And then you get out on stage, and what the heck is going to happen? It's going to refresh your memory about all this horrible stuff that you were thinking about, it's going to seep in this toxicity. Well, it's the same thing with finding your mistakes. You don't want to concentrate in your mistakes. You want to concentrate in the correction. And that is what is going to cement your performance for you.

So as tempting as it is to say, "What did I do wrong there?" Find out, "What do I need to do right there?" It's an important distinction that will help the productivity or practice tremendously. And it's a lesson for life as well. Remember, you believe what you tell yourself. This is an important fact. So take this to heart, in everything you do and everything you think, because it has a profound effect upon what happens to you in life, and in your music.

Thanks so much for joining me. Again, I'm Robert Estrin. If you liked the videos, if you haven't subscribed already, you're welcome to, and you got to ring the bell. I have even more content on Patreon for you. Thanks so much for joining me here., your online piano resource.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

jjjude1 * VSM MEMBER * on August 19, 2020 @6:41 am PST
Robert, I play piano, but share this information with my ukulele ensemble, that plays like an orchestra. I love this one because it contains the life lesson, as well! You are not just informative, but enjoyable as well! Judy
Wanda * VSM MEMBER * on August 6, 2020 @1:23 pm PST
You are awesome and I enjoy your videos - still learning even after being a professional pianist for 42 years. Trying to keep my brain and fingers active!
Robert - host, on August 6, 2020 @2:09 pm PST
No matter how far you go with piano, there is infinitely more to explore. That's what keeps it so interesting!
FRANCOIS DU TOIT on August 6, 2020 @1:30 am PST
I love it - fantastic !!!!
Robert - host, on August 6, 2020 @10:29 am PST
That's great to hear!
Kenneth Spencer on August 5, 2020 @9:02 am PST
I am quite interested in the piano which you sometimes show in your studio.

I looks as though you have installed a more or less standard grand piano action, but without strings. So I suspect that the wooden batten which runs across the width of the keyboard has a set of sensors (maybe reed switches) which feed a MIDI system to give you a piano voice. If that is so, how are you picking up velocity information? Maybe you have two spaced magnets or two sensors?

Anyway thanks for the videos! How about one of the organ ?
Kenneth Spencer
Robert - host, on August 5, 2020 @1:02 pm PST
You are on the right track in understanding my piano. There are optical sensors under the keys which measure the attack and release velocity. There is a USB output that goes to the computer which produces the physical model of the piano sound. It provides a virtual concert grand playing experience.
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