Let's talk about practice today.
Recently I had plenty of time to practice after my teaching sessions every day. I get myself a notebook, sit in front of the instrument, warm up with some simple scales and arpeggios. Flip to the music I want to start with, Bach, Schumann, Mozart, but the one I really into lately is Chopin.
Chopin pieces are really challenging, I am not a concert pianist, just a normal person who plays piano. When I was little, I did not get a chance to learn it because of my small hands (the teacher thinks, but I do agree), anyway I tried Op.10 No.1, of course not quite successful at that time. I decided to practice again.
Well, it was not quite successful at the beginning with those arpeggios' running up and down, I spent some time on studying the chords and patterns, then memorized and million repetitions. After two weeks, I finally got the notes right and be able to play smoothly.
Yes...just smoothly. As you all know there're so many things that has to work on other than notes and dynamics. Speed is an issue in most of the Chopin's Etudes, I can't just play the piece without any pauses, but I have to speed it up, it's "Waterfall". "Waterfall" does not split into parts; it is in other way legato with power and accuracy. So that is it.
Would I keep practicing waterfall Etude, to aim perfect? No. I mean definitely would keep playing it but not aiming for perfection. I just feel so satisfied, I enjoy so much the process of practice and working hard.
Practice is like putting puzzles together and create a picture. A picture does not have to be perfect but at least presentable, isn't it?
As a matter of fact, you do not need a notebook. I did not use mine at all.