a few months ago i decided to try out playing mozart as a hobby.
it has turned out to be a wonderful thing.  being a professional jazz pianist for so many years... playing mostly lounges.. some concerts... functions,  gb... you know the thing... so many people come up to you and say "arnt you lucky to be doing what you love for a living"  and "isnt it relaxing" and we kind of have to reinforce the stereo type and say ya ya... yada yada.  when in reality.... no i work damn hard for my money and it is not relaxing... it is a pretty stressful job in a lot of ways ... between dealing with other other musicians, venue owners and strange audiences....  
   but learning and playing mozart as a hobby ... wow that is relaxing...
i seriously reccomend it to all you jazz pianisist out there... you will love it
just give a little bit of your day to it... buy the mozart sonata book or something like that and let your self relax with it a bit on sundays or on your day off.. you will love it.
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yeah, mozart sonatas are awesome. i feel like working on them has really helped my playing. i feel like they're really hard to play well, and they reveal any minor inconsistency and imperfection in your phrasing; i feel like it's much harder to make sound good than beethoven or chopin, but maybe that's just me.
i do the same thing but with various composers.  right now i'm on a  chopin etude kick.  it's amazing how doing that improves my jazz playing, and of course playing in general.  it really opens me up to new ways of voicing and playing.  (even though they are centuries old ways)

it's also amazing how much i appreciate what composers from hundreds of years ago were doing...i didn't get the total picture when i was younger.  i was just learning  the pieces. (or should i say hacking to pieces:)
wow, my mind went a thousand places and not one of them to where mike was going with this post. i enjoy playing mozart and chopin but i almost never do it regularly. i think that devoting some time weekly to them may help, so i think i may incorporate some of mike's suggestions in my playing routine. i think most of my books with classical works are under my "tool's greatest hits book for piano". just kidding with that last comment, just in case it was not obvious enough.
i always wanted to have a hobby, but never had time for one.
yes,  hobbies are something you have to make time for.  i am single and i love confusing girls when i am on dates.  they know i am a pianist... at some point they ask me if i have a hobby.... i love seeing the confusion on their faces when i simply say "mozart".
also i do not see that is "helping" my playing in any way whats so ever.  i have always found classical music easier to study and perform.
i am doing it strictly for the enjoyment of a nice little hobby.
i don't know if i agree with that mike, if it isn't at all challenging then what's the fun in doing it. if it's challenging then it helps. i can't resolve that dichotomy.
i would think that "challenging" and "fun" are two different entities.

fun can be fun without being challenging.

i imagine that mike has fun playing mozart.

and just think what a wonderful gift: to be able to play mozart without it being challenging.

just playing it for the sheer pleasure ...
point taken jeff, i should have used more accurate words for what i was trying to describe. there is no satisfaction for me as an accomplishment without the application of some effort. if something is easy for me (which mozart surely is not), it becomes mundane and boring, therefore it is counter to my sense of adventure. this is a broadly applied statement in this case and may not be as applicable in all aspects of my life. there are times i do seek the easy, non-taxing solution but those times are more the routine moments and not what i refer to as "hobby" interests. i am sure that most persons have their own vision as to what meets their individual needs. and as always, this is surely, only my opinion, which is worth exactly what was paid to read it.
well i suppose it has its challenges.  what i mean is that i find it infinitely easier than working on the music i normally work on and perform... ie,  the american songbook and coltrane tunes and my own compositions,  to be able to work on music that someone else has worked out all the notes and the entire arrangement for and actually have it end up sounding and feeling good when you play it.  i guess that is where i find the pleasure.  a break from jazz...  to get away from all the things that i love about it for a moment i guess.  i love all the things about jazz that make me be 100 percent creative but the nice thing about my hobby is that i can take a break from putting out and i can just be a consumer.  i can just enjoy my ability to play without really putting out much effort in comparison to when i play jazz which takes a whole lot more effort.  to play jazz i am constantly drawing on every bit of years of training and study.  it is part of my training and my philosophy to always give it 100 percent.  but my hobby i can just sort of sit back and play ... i only have to draw on a small percentage of my musical training to play mozart.  i do not have to use any of my knowledge of improvisation... very little of my knowledge of theory.  and other than the hand independence challenges the technique demands are relatively minor as well.
that's interesting.  to me, jazz is like a hobby where i just let my mind wander and hopefully delight in what happens.  classical is much more of a challenge for me.  if i can't sight read it, i get very impatient with myself, which is where the challenge comes in. however when i do take the time to work out those things that do not come easily, my overall playing improves.
what do you think of the last movement(rondo)of mozarts first piano sonata?
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