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#1061440 - 09/26/08 07:24 PM How much do you practice?
Virginia Mom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Virginia
Hello everyone. I have previously posted (just a few times) as vk922, but I changed my name. Easier.

I'm curious to know how much you usually practice? How many times per week and how often per practice. I haven't even found a teacher yet (they seem to one extreme or the other so far) so I bought the Alfred beginner book today. I was thinking I could do 15-20 minutes a day without a problem. One of the teachers I spoke with expects an hour a day, which seems like a lot.

Just wondering.
_________________________
Valerie

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#1061441 - 09/26/08 07:37 PM Re: How much do you practice?
TTigg Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 873
Loc: Southern California
Hello there Valerie,

I'm still new @ this place and the Piano but the journey has begun. I've been lucky enough to find myself a great teacher who lives just down the road from me.

I've been practicing some days for 30m others for 2hrs. I've just finished Alfred's Book #1 (2.5mths) using this method so I am very happy with the progress. I've seen that some people here practice for 2-3hrs a day. Some days I can do this, others it's 30-50m at best.

For sure the more you practice the better you will be (of course) but I'd say that the more practice you can put in during the first 1-2yrs of this journey will benefit you greatly down the road.

Best of all enjoy, it's so much fun!
_________________________
"...I'm out there Jerry and I'm LOVING it!..."

My You Tube | My Box.net

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#1061442 - 09/26/08 07:49 PM Re: How much do you practice?
bukopaudan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 506
Loc: USA
Hello, Valerie! \:\)

I have been playing piano for about 12 years now (I started super young. I'm a teenager!), and practicing time usually varies for me. At one point, I was competing and I was hitting 2-3 hours a day. Then, because I'm a perfectionist, I ended up injuring myself and developing tendonitis in both my left and right hands and wrists.

Some people find it hard to sit for a while and just practice. For me, I enjoy it a lot, so some days I find myself practicing for more than an hour, other days when I have to balance school work and studying for tests plus piano and my other two instruments, it's about 30 minutes.

My one philosophy, is that even if you don't have time, try your HARDEST to practice, trying to touch the piano at least once. Going through all of your lessons at least once. That's the important part. Even 15-20 minutes is fine, I've done that on more than one occassion!

Enjoy yourself and practice as much as you can. Let your teacher know about your time restrictions and what you expect. and ESPECIALLY let them know that you are playing the piano for enjoyment, not a professional career! That's what gets some of them, expecting an hour when all you can give is half of that.

Good luck to you and post again soon! \:\)
_________________________
"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." -Leonard Bernstein

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#1061443 - 09/26/08 07:50 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Mati Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Lodz, Poland
I play everyday. How much? It depends mostly on my mood and other time constraints such as work or university. I have days when I have an urge to play, and can go for 3 - 4 hours. I have days where I practice around 30 minutes. Mostly I try to do a hour or two, in smaller chunks.

Another thing is how much of this time I am able to spend on very focused practice, and how much on playing for myself - that varies too \:D


M.
_________________________
Mateusz Papiernik
My youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Maticomp
"One man can make a difference" - Wilton Knight
Kawai CN21 (digital), Henryk Yamayuri Kawai NX-40 (grand)

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#1061444 - 09/26/08 08:11 PM Re: How much do you practice?
agraffe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 132
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
If you're starting out and aren't sure you can practice for an hour a day, I would say avoid those teachers that demand this. They will know what to listen for, and you will feel defeated.

I have limited concentrative capacity, so 20 min. is a good day; many days often pass with no practice. But I *want* to play, and so I do what I can and "that's OK." \:\)
_________________________
鋼琴

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#1061445 - 09/26/08 08:23 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I usually practice between 1 to 2 hours per day.

I think that the amount one 'should' practice really depends on a few things.

- How important it is to you
- How much time you can comfortably manage
- How long you can sit without getting physically uncomfortable (sort back, butt)
- Your family commitments
- Your work commitments
- Your leisure commitments
- How lazy or hard working you are
- How quickly you wish to progress (and the 'price' you are willing to pay for that progress)

I don't think there is any one 'right' answer. The answer, in your case, is unique to you.

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#1061446 - 09/26/08 09:04 PM Re: How much do you practice?
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
3-6 hours
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Slow down and do it right.

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#1061447 - 09/26/08 09:53 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I used to practice basically every day, now I'm a university student and I only manage maybe 5-10 hours a week at most.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#1061448 - 09/26/08 10:21 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Prince Charles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 180
Loc: London
I probably practice 5 days a week

45 mins maybe two days a week and 90 mins per day for another three days.

Mark

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#1061449 - 09/27/08 05:23 AM Re: How much do you practice?
izaldu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 1248
Loc:
about two hours a day and more on the weekends (that s keyboard time, but i take a lot of breaks, i cant seem to sit at the piano for longer than 30 mins ... not sure how effective my practice time is

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#1061450 - 09/27/08 07:40 AM Re: How much do you practice?
Virginia Mom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Virginia
How do those of you who practice more than an hour a day manage that? Do you have families? I have 3 small children (and a husband + pets) and if I were to take hours of practice time not much else would get done around here.

Frycek said 3-6 hours! Holy cow! What else do you do?
_________________________
Valerie

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#1061451 - 09/27/08 08:27 AM Re: How much do you practice?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11572
Loc: Canada
Hi Valerie, My children are now young adults but I remember when they were small. It is hard to find time for uninterrupted concentrated work, which we need for practicing music. My two sons were small when I set up my business as a translator as the sole wage earner and this had to be my priority. The kids and the work had to be first. I got a dishwasher, the floor was not vacuumed every day (gasp!) and sometimes things did not get picked up and put away right away. I created strategies of priorities and how to organize myself. I made lots of stews that simmered themselves into completion and could be reheated over several days. When you add a major thing in your life that will require your time and effort, you cannot always do everything you did before to the same degree.

In your case with three small children, 20 minutes of efficient practice time, where your full concentration goes on what you've been assigned, will give you a lot more than two hours while battling off distractions.

Your husband can be a partner helping you in this by taking some of your household responsibilities IF he can take your piano studies seriously. Family members don't always do so, and sometimes they even dislike the "intrusion" of hearing an instrument being practised. If you can get that support, and above all, take your new endeavour seriously as something important and worthwhile, that would be great.

Best of luck, and enjoy!

KS

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#1061452 - 09/27/08 10:10 AM Re: How much do you practice?
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
 Quote:
Originally posted by Virginia Mom:

Frycek said 3-6 hours! Holy cow! What else do you do? [/b]
I work in anatomic pathology in a hospital laboratory full time. My only child is 24 and currently in charge of reptiles at a pet superstore. To put it succinctly, I have a job and a piano.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1061453 - 09/27/08 11:11 AM Re: How much do you practice?
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8412
Loc: Georgia, USA
Interesting thread. I generally practice/play at least 30 minutes on weekdays/workdays and maybe an hour or two (or longer) on the weekends.

Sometimes before I go to bed at night I’ll plunk out a tune or two. Sometimes when I’m on my way out the door in the mornings headed for work, I’ll stop and hit a quick tune to make my day go well.

Of course, with the kind of music I play, I don’t know if I practice or just noodle around; either way it’s a lot of fun. ;\) \:D

Take care,

Rickster
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1061454 - 09/27/08 11:15 AM Re: How much do you practice?
KaylaX Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 402
Loc: N. Cali
HI Virginia mom,

I have 2 small children and one big kid (my husband), plus too many pets(cats, dog, horse), so my practice time is dependant on whats going on around me. Usually I try and get in 30mins a day but thats a hit and miss. And sometimes my 4 yr old comes and joins me during my practice so then my practice becomes a playtime thing. I have been playing since april( 5-months into this piano journey). I also try to take a lesson once a week for 1/2 hr. That helps keep me motivated. So I am very happy if I can get a good solid 1/2 hour or so in. But usually I think it averages out to 1/2 a day. Im also a part time librarian at my sons school but thats only like 4-6 hrs per week so I juggle that time too.

But I found that the more I practice the better and more confident I get. But I dont stress if I cant get to my piano everyday. Its a hobby \:\) not a job. And im not in a hurry. My family comes first. My piano teacher also understands that things can get crazy so she is very understanding if I have to re-schedule a lesson. And my husband is very supportive of my hobbies (piano, and my riding), He doesnt mind listening to me attempting to do my piano lessons over and over again. And im out in the country so I dont have neighbors that complain about the noise either. Its all good here!!!!

So thats what I do \:\)

AspenX \:D
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1978 Lowery Its not fancy but its unique to me and it plays..

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#1061455 - 09/27/08 12:25 PM Re: How much do you practice?
funburger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 1417
Va. Mom, I agree with many others here. it depends on how you want to progress, if you want to spend 20 mins a day and thats what you are happy with then go for it. if you want to progress faster then spend more time at the piano. i would definitly not pick a teacher that expects you to practice an hour everyday if that is not what you have in mind or have time for. I say if playing piano is what you want to do and 20 mins will keep ya happy--then go for it. its the love and enjoyment of playing:)
_________________________
If it ain't fun I ain't doin' it:)

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#1061456 - 09/27/08 07:16 PM Re: How much do you practice?
IamElise Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 126
Loc: Long Island, NY
After I put my kids on the school bus I usually do 2 hours and in the evenings about 1 hour Monday to Friday.

On the weekends I running around with the kids and hubby etc.
_________________________
Therese

Good, better, best; never let it rest, 'till your good be better and your better - Best!

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#1061457 - 09/28/08 03:35 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
I practice between 1 to 2 hours every day.

Sometimes it's not easy because I work full time with a really weird schedule, but always manage to get at least 1 hour.

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#1061458 - 09/28/08 04:48 PM Re: How much do you practice?
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5448
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I don't have the time to play everyday, and on the days I do play I often don't get in much more than 20 minutes. If I play as much as an hour it's often in 20 minute slices. Like everyone here, I'm sure if I practiced/played more I'd get more proficient faster, but life is what it is. I enjoy the playing, and if I can't get a really great thing ready for one of our gigs, I cut my losses and play something less great very well. For me, that's the trick. I do what I can do, and I like doing it, and I forgo the regrets at not having time/energy/talent/whatever to be able to do it diferently. And I steadily have more abilities. What more could I want? \:\)

Cathy
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#1061459 - 09/28/08 09:20 PM Re: How much do you practice?
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
I used to stick religiously to an hour a day, but I moved to 45 minutes about two months ago so I could add in some exercise a few days a week. I do it in three 15 minute segments early a.m., late afternoon, and after dinner. It is no hardship. I can work on something for three minutes while water is boiling, etc. You do what you can. I have three middle school kids, work about 30 hours a week, and do volunteer work. I have several time wasters I could eliminate and do a little more, but this balance is okay for now. I do see a reduction in my progress having moved to 45 minutes, but it's worth the trade off for me.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1061460 - 09/30/08 12:52 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
I have read/heard that 15 minutes a day everyday is better than say two hours in one day once a week (did that make sense).
I don't put a time limit on my practice because that makes me anxious. Rather, I sit down with a goal. Like, I will play through my scales/chords/arpeggios. Or, I will work on particular song. Before I know it I have been at the piano for hours. If I had set out to practice for hours I probably wouldn't do it. Also, some days if feel a little too hyper or my attention span is just not there. So, I will practice in spurts. Scales for about 15 min, watch a little tv, during the commercials play a little more, go clean the kitchen, play some more...you get the idea. Sometimes it's quality not quantity. I think you will find once you get into a routine that you will build your endurance to play for an hour and it won't feel like AN HOUR?!
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1061461 - 09/30/08 01:11 PM Re: How much do you practice?
rodmichael Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 334
Loc: Maryland
I started in February this year and I have managed to practice at least an hour per day on weekdays and 2 or 3 hours per day on weekends when I'm not traveling. So that's about 10 hours per week at a minumum. Probably not more than 12 per week total, except when I went to SummerKeys this summer. I still work fulltime also.

But it's really dependent on the other demands and priorities in your life. A home, 3 children, a husband, and some pets are a handful and a full time job by themselves. I'm surprised you get 20 minutes a day of uninterrupted time. My wife and 1 have basically been orphaned as our kids are now out of the house. So our time is more our own. I am golfing more and have found time to pick up the piano. But I was 61 when I started that (62 now) and I decided it's one of my highest priorities. Fulltime work is quickly receding as a priority and one of these days soon I will retire from that.
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Mason & Hamlin AA, SN 93018
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#1061462 - 09/30/08 01:12 PM Re: How much do you practice?
GreenRain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/08
Posts: 888
Loc: Somewhere in Europe
For beginner 30 minutes will do it, for 7th grader 2-3 hours...

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#1061463 - 09/30/08 02:32 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Deerwood Dad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 478
Loc: Minneapolis
I endeavor to put in 30 minutes or more per day, but it ranges from zero time (my family and my job are higher priorities) to an hour or more -- sometimes more on the weekend, but rarely on any of these occasions in uninterrupted segments.

When I have enough energy, after the kids are in bed, I can sometimes put a chunk (90 minutes or so) into doing rudimentary fingering etc on my Yamaha keyboard with the headphones on. The keyboard is a great option for basic, preliminary work, but I need to move to the grand to work on touch, pedaling, etc.
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Mason & Hamlin A (2006); Yamaha P140

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#1061464 - 09/30/08 02:41 PM Re: How much do you practice?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3551
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
3 to 5 hours per day - everyday.

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1061465 - 09/30/08 03:05 PM Re: How much do you practice?
musiclady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Not as much as I probably need to, considering that I don't usually do everything with 2 hours of practice a day. Though proportionally I'll spend a lot more on technique than on pieces and studies, since I tend to learn those relatively quickly.

Meri
_________________________
Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com

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#1061466 - 10/01/08 12:31 PM Re: How much do you practice?
melwig Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: California
I'm like you, Virginia Mom. I have two kids, 2&4. I just started piano for the first time four months ago. I knew that practice time would be a challenge, so I set the goal of getting on the piano every day. Not for a specific amount of time, because my time is frequently not under my control. It is not uncommon for me to start practicing and then the kids come in and want attention, and if it is not them then the wife wants attention. I ended up buying an electronic keyboard, so if all else fails, I can practice with the headphones on after everyone else goes to bed. In reality, I probably get in 20-30 minutes a day, 7 days a week. I think being consistent about doing it everyday helps the most. I also have a teacher who understands the time limits when you have small kids (and a wife). Afterall, reality is reality.
_________________________
Keep it fun, and stay motivated!

If you can achieve something without a struggle, it's not going to be satisfying.


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#1061467 - 10/01/08 01:32 PM Re: How much do you practice?
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Melwig, my best practice time is before anybody gets up. That keyboard could come in very handy if you just start getting up an hour earlier.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1061468 - 10/02/08 08:40 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Late Beginner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 588
Loc: West Australia
 Quote:
Originally posted by agraffe:
If you're starting out and aren't sure you can practice for an hour a day, I would say avoid those teachers that demand this. They will know what to listen for, and you will feel defeated.

I have limited concentrative capacity, so 20 min. is a good day; many days often pass with no practice. But I *want* to play, and so I do what I can and "that's OK." \:\) [/b]
+1

I believe that forcing yourself to practice to a schedule that feels unnatural or uncomfortable is a risky thing to do. Too many students seem to end up on a treadmill of expectation that sucks all the joy out of it.

The ones who do keep playing (and a large percentage do drop out) are usually those who have done the best job at sorting out what motivates them in particular (and we're all a little different) rather than simply those who do x, y, or z amount of daily work. If you study to be a professional than you need professional standards and timetables, but as my aim is to enjoy music as a hobby then I've found that the number one criterion is to keep my enthusiasm up, and to play and practice with 100% attention once I start, rather than just going through the motions.

I have no daily timetable at all. I play whatever I feel like, whenever it suits, on whichever instrument I'm most interested in on the day. It might be minutes or weeks between sessions. But I'm moving forwards, getting better, and enjoying every minute of it all. Works for me.

Good luck finding whatever balance and motivation works best for you. \:\)

Chris
_________________________
Who needs feet of clay? I can get into enough trouble with feet made of regular foot stuff...

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#1061469 - 10/02/08 11:35 PM Re: How much do you practice?
1RC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 497
Loc: Alberta
It's interesting to see how others fit piano into their lives! I remember somebody telling me how difficult time gets when raising a child, and I spurted out "Yeah I know what you mean"... Then I thought about it half a second and corrected myself "wait, actually I have no idea".

Anyways, at 19 I fell in love with classical music and determined that I would become a good pianist and began to tailor my life around that goal.

By keeping my expenses low I'm able to work 6 hours/day and save money for school. It's a good balance for me to have time and energy to practice while making a living. It's just me living in the cheapest apartment I could find. So, I have pretty good conditions to learn piano.

BUT, I often get distracted. Sometimes friends call me out and I can't resist, sometimes I'm simply lazy and wind up procrastinating an evening away on various things, sometimes work takes over my life. Often I whip myself into shape and make a lot of progress, then become complacent and gradually wind down to dissipation.

I get about an hour a day for the past few weeks, I've gotten election fever and have been spending too much time reading politics. This irks me

The way I see it is I can treat piano like my job, I'm happy enough to do what needs to be done once I'm there. So, if I consider working on music, 3 hours of that in addition to 6 hours at my job is nine hours/day. Definitely manageable, especially since I enjoy this sort of work.

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#1061470 - 10/03/08 07:50 AM Re: How much do you practice?
pixy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 72
Loc: Rochester, UK
I am like many of you here. Full time job, 2 kids (3 years old and 8 months), hubby and house keeping. I manage to play 2 to 3 hours a day. I do it after puting the kids to bed (love my DP). Practise is not very efficient because I am a bit tired, but for me it is worth cutting on sleep time. I would love to get up early to play, but little one does not know yet that he is not allowed out of the cot before 6 am. \:D
While I am playing hubby is also wearing headphones to play his silent guitar. We are a very musical family, but not noisy at all ;\)
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#1061471 - 10/03/08 10:26 AM Re: How much do you practice?
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Pixie- A 3yr old and an 8mo old AND you find time to pracice 2-3 hours a day. I think you are superwoman!
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

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#1061472 - 10/03/08 10:55 AM Re: How much do you practice?
izaldu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 1248
Loc:
i ll just change my previous answer to "not enough"

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#1061473 - 10/03/08 11:07 AM Re: How much do you practice?
kentm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 126
Loc: Camp Verde, AZ.
I'm blessed to be on staff at a church (as worship leader), so taking time out of my day to practice is part of the package....so I can just sneak off and slap on the headphones and play....sometimes up to 3 hours a day!
_________________________
Play skillfully!.....Psalm 33:3

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#1061474 - 10/03/08 11:13 AM Re: How much do you practice?
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kymber:
Pixie- A 3yr old and an 8mo old AND you find time to pracice 2-3 hours a day. I think you are superwoman! [/b]
It's a matter of setting priorities. I don't have small children but up until a month ago I was working two jobs and still managed about three hours a day. I just don't watch TV.
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Slow down and do it right.

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#1061475 - 10/03/08 12:06 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Woody-Woodruff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 615
Loc: Coastal Mississippi
Usually, about 3 - 4 hours a day of practice. Just "playing" could add another 2 - 3 hours onto that. Remember is almost Christmas - time to start playing those Chirstmas Carols....
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#1061476 - 10/03/08 01:59 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Davinci Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 131
Just wondering those who play >2hrs a day, any interval beside...ahem...toilet break? \:D

Aside of time allocation for practising, on average how many pieces should a beginner ideally work on during the 1st year of playing? Let's say each piece is about 2 page?

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#1061477 - 10/03/08 02:37 PM Re: How much do you practice?
pixy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 72
Loc: Rochester, UK
Thanks Kymber but I am not.
I would be superwoman if I managed to play while the kids are awake. They are usually in bed by 7:30 so there is still a lot of day left to practise (Doesn't time fly when you play?)
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#1061478 - 10/03/08 03:22 PM Re: How much do you practice?
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
 Quote:
Originally posted by Davinci:
Just wondering those who play >2hrs a day, any interval beside...ahem...toilet break? \:D

[/b]
I'm up and down. I have a timer I keep switching off. My 3 - 4 hours can actually occupy about 6. I can practice about an hour straight without feeling the strain, that's the max. Then I need a break. When I practice in the early morning, it's an hour at the piano, then the bath, the hair, make lunch, etc, and then back at the piano until time to go to work.
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#1061479 - 10/05/08 01:22 AM Re: How much do you practice?
Inahsu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/11/08
Posts: 12
I have four teenagers and a full time job. I practice every day in the evenings for 30 min to 1 hr. Sometimes, on weekends, I practice twice a day (mornings and evenings) which can add up to 2 hrs for that day.

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#1061480 - 10/05/08 05:43 PM Re: How much do you practice?
piano4 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 358
Loc: Hampton, Virginia
I can also get into the church and especially if I have to be there for meetings, I just have lunch, practice for 25 minutes, then later, for one or two hours while I'm waiting for folks to show up.

When I am home, I finish what I need to do,(grad work, housework, dinner) then have two hours with a couple of five minute stretch breaks. Weekends are my real fun practice times!
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#1061481 - 10/05/08 07:00 PM Re: How much do you practice?
blindwilly Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 5
Loc: Colorado
I just started piano 5 months ago. I've played (jazz) guitar for 30 years, including bands, 3 nights-a-week gigs, etc. What I've learned in studying guitar I'm applying to the piano and am hoping to make fewer mistakes: here are some random guidelines.
1) I never practice when it feels like a grind. Less hours of high-intensity practice far exceeds slaving away for the sake of more hours at the piano.
2) Half the time should be "lesson" related stuff; the other half "fun" stuff like repertoire, jamming with yourself, experimenting, improvising, composing, etc.
3) Always be musical; when practicing a scale make it sound like music, not a scale. Don't be fooled into thinking that just having your hands on the piano and playing notes is the same as making music. It's about the music, not the technique.
4) If possible I give piano-playing my high-intensity time of the day. I try to get 1 hour in just after breakfast, before work. That's when I get all my lesson related work done. Then when I get back to the piano later, I have my "fun" time ahead of me so I don't dread the second practice session of the day. I always practice before bed, when the house is quiet. As my concentration by then is a little off, I don't expect too much of myself at that session, but if I can get 20 minutes of high-quality playing in, then it's a win.

Overall, I practice about 1 1/2 to 2 hours a day, up to 3 on weekends, and probably take one day a week off to recharge.
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#1061482 - 10/05/08 07:28 PM Re: How much do you practice?
jukeboxjim Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Waynesboro, Va.
I think FRYCEK said it all when he said he doesn't watch TV...that's what I gave up for the piano...with all those channels and nothing on...it wasn't difficult to do at all. I try and practice about 2 hours a day, and if I miss I'm not hard on myself, it is a hobby. But it's easy for me to forget a lot if I'm not rehearsing it often. I try to cover every piece I've learned, even the simple ones that got me started. I have a great teacher that I visit for an hour every other week, I'm basically teaching myself and he re-affirms my questions, etc. I have been at this for about 5 months now and this works for me. I'm happy and that is what a hobby should do.
Jim

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#1061483 - 02/17/09 09:49 PM Re: How much do you practice?
corinnecor Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Rochester NY
Hi everyone. I practice 3-4 hours a day. Please read my practicing information below.
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#1061484 - 02/17/09 10:13 PM Re: How much do you practice?
corinnecor Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Rochester NY
The amount you practice depends upon if you are serious about piano or you just playing for fun. It also depends how many things you have to practice. If you have just one piece to work on and you have an hour a day to practice that one piece you can improve a lot in that one piece in a weeks time.
Also, keep in mind that lessons twice a week will make your development faster. Of course you will have to practice more time daily for this.

Because I have so many different pieces to work on at once if I practice just an hour or two a day it definetly is not enough. 3-4 hours a day is good and is what I am doing now although I would like to move it to 5-6. Keep in mind that the more you practice the better the results. While I was preparing for college auditions, for 9 months, I practiced 10-12 hours a day on top of three 90 minute piano lessons a week and my teacher told me I improved 5 years during this 9 month period!!!!!

You have to gradually work your way up in practice time. Jumping into long hours right at once is dangerous. If you work your way up too fast you could get pain in your hands or wrist...However if you practice with the correct technique you should not develop any type of problems whatsoever... However, it is true that even advanced pianists struggle with technique.
Because of this it is important that pianists of all levels know that IF YOU DEVELOP ANY PAIN YOU NEED TO SEIZE PLAYING UNTIL IT GETS BETTER. If it is only in one hand, play with the other until you can play with both hands again. You may even have to take a two week break. The break might need to be only a day though! :-) If you take a break when you notice the pain even the slightest then it will never develop into anything seriously but will go away :-)))))
But if you do not take a break during the onset of pain you may develop a serious problem.
During my intense 9 months I only had to stop practice once for about 3 days :-)

Remember also that your piano practice time is specifically when you sit down at the piano. Ear training should also be practiced daily. The David Lucas Burge course is the BEST. I have used this with several of my friends and they ALL developed perfect and relative pitch!
:-)) Even some of my young students parents developed it! And they are non-Musicians! :-)

Stick to a strick practice schedule. Get a day planner you could carry with you everywhere and keep a log of all your practice. EVERY pianist should log their practice time. This is very important and will help develop good practice habits. Add up your weekly practice total and try to practice a little more each week, even if each week you increase by only 1 minute. :-)

If you take a day off piano and another day off, it is VERY easy to get off your strict schedule and start slacking...My one day off often turns into two or three so I try really hard to not take a day off. On days you can't practice try to sit down at the pianoto practice- even if for only 20 minutes.

I also log in my planner my internet time and I am working on gradually lowering it to have more practice time.

Another important thing. If you are a serious pianist and want to get good you will need to give up TV. :-)

Reduce the internet, try to only watch 30-60 minutes a week on TV or less, and PRACTICE!!!

God bless!
Corinne
I can be contacted at:
Corinnemk8@hotmail.com
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#1061485 - 02/17/09 10:21 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Strings & Wood Offline


Gold member until Dec. 2012


Registered: 05/22/08
Posts: 1836
Loc: USA
Some- most every day... it varies greatly.

 Quote:
I work in anatomic pathology [/b] in a hospital laboratory full time.

I had to Wikipedia that one \:\)
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#1061486 - 02/17/09 10:23 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
Since I got back from winter vacation, I've been practicing 2 hours a day 6 days a week. I'm in school full-time (not studying music), so it's hard to do more than that - I feel guilty enough about the 2 hours. And really, it does feel like a guilty pleasure - the practice room is where I go to escape my responsibilities.

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#1061487 - 02/17/09 10:58 PM Re: How much do you practice?
foxyw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 298
Loc: New Hampshire
I practice on average about one hour per day. I don't watch tv in the evenings so I generally have plenty of time to play. On the weekends, I often get in 80 - 90 minutes total each day.
_________________________
"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!" J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 1997.


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#1061488 - 02/17/09 11:06 PM Re: How much do you practice?
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2621
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by corinnecor:

Another important thing. If you are a serious pianist and want to get good you will need to give up TV. :-)
[/b]
About 5 years ago my old TV broke down. This was shortly after I had begun taking serious classical piano lessons. I procrastinated about getting it fixed or getting a new one. Time went by and I found that I wasn't missing it and that I was spending more and more time at the piano. Five years later I still don't have a TV (I bought a Steinway B instead!) and I'm playing pieces I never dreamt I would be playing...like Chopin etudes. Giving up TV was the best thing that ever happened to my piano playing!

By the way, welcome to the forum Corinne! Rochester NY...are you at the Eastman School?
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#1061489 - 02/22/09 05:25 PM Re: How much do you practice?
cor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 96
Loc: student

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#1061490 - 02/22/09 05:30 PM Re: How much do you practice?
cor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 96
Loc: student
The TV and Internet can very easily eat away at precious practice time! :-)

Get a planner and keep track of how much time each day you practice piano, watch TV and are on the internet...Then add the TV and internet time to your practice time and you will have lot more practice time. :-)))

The best thing to do is set a time limit on the internet....I am addicted to the internet.....I can't get enough....I love it! Especially youtube. :-) I start watching Child piano prodigies and next thing you know 4 hours has gone by!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#1061491 - 02/22/09 07:19 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi I play every day

sometimes 30 mins sometimes 4, 5, 6 hours!!

Lee \:\)
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#1061492 - 02/22/09 07:50 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Machicavelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Sweden
Everyday 30-60 min
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#1061493 - 02/22/09 08:00 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11426
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Late Beginner:
 Quote:
Originally posted by agraffe:
If you're starting out and aren't sure you can practice for an hour a day, I would say avoid those teachers that demand this. They will know what to listen for, and you will feel defeated.

I have limited concentrative capacity, so 20 min. is a good day; many days often pass with no practice. But I *want* to play, and so I do what I can and "that's OK." \:\) [/b]
+1

I believe that forcing yourself to practice to a schedule that feels unnatural or uncomfortable is a risky thing to do. Too many students seem to end up on a treadmill of expectation that sucks all the joy out of it.

The ones who do keep playing (and a large percentage do drop out) are usually those who have done the best job at sorting out what motivates them in particular (and we're all a little different) rather than simply those who do x, y, or z amount of daily work. If you study to be a professional than you need professional standards and timetables, but as my aim is to enjoy music as a hobby then I've found that the number one criterion is to keep my enthusiasm up, and to play and practice with 100% attention once I start, rather than just going through the motions.

I have no daily timetable at all. I play whatever I feel like, whenever it suits, on whichever instrument I'm most interested in on the day. It might be minutes or weeks between sessions. But I'm moving forwards, getting better, and enjoying every minute of it all. Works for me.

Good luck finding whatever balance and motivation works best for you. \:\)

Chris [/b]
I'd like to make a comment about this from another perspective. Sometimes it's OK to do something that you don't really feel like doing. It's not going to damage you psychologically if you practice when you're "not in the mood", in fact, just the opposite happens: often when you practice on those days you weren't in the mood, you feel better for having done it anyways. Just doing something is better than nothing, and accomplishing even one task is a good thing. You can even counter the "I don't want to attitude" before it even sets in by saying, "I will be glad I did it after it's done." ;\)
_________________________
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#1061494 - 02/22/09 09:55 PM Re: How much do you practice?
chihuahua Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 391
Loc: An Oligarchy
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Late Beginner:
 Quote:
Originally posted by agraffe:
If you're starting out and aren't sure you can practice for an hour a day, I would say avoid those teachers that demand this. They will know what to listen for, and you will feel defeated.

I have limited concentrative capacity, so 20 min. is a good day; many days often pass with no practice. But I *want* to play, and so I do what I can and "that's OK." \:\) [/b]
+1

I believe that forcing yourself to practice to a schedule that feels unnatural or uncomfortable is a risky thing to do. Too many students seem to end up on a treadmill of expectation that sucks all the joy out of it.

The ones who do keep playing (and a large percentage do drop out) are usually those who have done the best job at sorting out what motivates them in particular (and we're all a little different) rather than simply those who do x, y, or z amount of daily work. If you study to be a professional than you need professional standards and timetables, but as my aim is to enjoy music as a hobby then I've found that the number one criterion is to keep my enthusiasm up, and to play and practice with 100% attention once I start, rather than just going through the motions.

I have no daily timetable at all. I play whatever I feel like, whenever it suits, on whichever instrument I'm most interested in on the day. It might be minutes or weeks between sessions. But I'm moving forwards, getting better, and enjoying every minute of it all. Works for me.

Good luck finding whatever balance and motivation works best for you. \:\)

Chris [/b]
I'd like to make a comment about this from another perspective. Sometimes it's OK to do something that you don't really feel like doing. It's not going to damage you psychologically if you practice when you're "not in the mood", in fact, just the opposite happens: often when you practice on those days you weren't in the mood, you feel better for having done it anyways. Just doing something is better than nothing, and accomplishing even one task is a good thing. You can even counter the "I don't want to attitude" before it even sets in by saying, "I will be glad I did it after it's done." ;\) [/b]
Funny ... I'm not[/b] in the "mood" only when I'm away from my studio ... so yeah, I'm in the mood when I do practice, and am usually grumpy and grouchy when not playing (i.e. at work) \:D
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#1061495 - 02/23/09 01:29 PM Re: How much do you practice?
TTigg Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 873
Loc: Southern California
As many others have said, I practice every day. Most days it's a good 1hr (30mins or so before work, 30mins or so after) Some days when I work from home or finish up projects early I can get in 2-3hrs.

As this journey continues I sometimes wish I had many more hours in the day to get more practice in \:\)
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#1061496 - 02/23/09 02:05 PM Re: How much do you practice?
wj3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 313
Loc: Salem, Or
I get in 1-2 hours per day, everyday sometimes more. But still not enough. So much music so little time.
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2010 Roland KR-115m
Alfreds AIO Level 2:
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#1061497 - 02/23/09 02:29 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
I'd like to make a comment about this from another perspective. Sometimes it's OK to do something that you don't really feel like doing. It's not going to damage you psychologically if you practice when you're "not in the mood", in fact, just the opposite happens: often when you practice on those days you weren't in the mood, you feel better for having done it anyways. Just doing something is better than nothing, and accomplishing even one task is a good thing. You can even counter the "I don't want to attitude" before it even sets in by saying, "I will be glad I did it after it's done." ;\) [/b]
I agree. Practice needs to be an automatic habit - something that you just do on a regular basis whether you feel like it or not. It's a lot easier to tell yourself "I am doing my X minutes/ X hours of piano practice today" than to engage in an internal dialogue every day about whether you really want to practice, whether you really feel like it, how tired you really are, what's new on TV, and whatever other factors go into your decision.

I've got a complicated and intense schedule, and if I were to go through that kind of internal negotiation every day, I'd never practice - there's always a very compelling excuse. So I make practicing non-negotiable. I do give myself one day off a week - this gives me some flexibility in case my schedule gets too crazy, and also allows my hands to rest - but the rest of the week, I have to be at the piano for 2 hours a day. If I don't manage to get to the practice room for my session before the practice rooms close, I use my digital piano late at night. And yes, sometimes it feels like I'm dragging myself through my practice session and watching the clock for the entire 2 hours; but I still do it, to keep up the habit.

I use the same approach for exercise, by the way - it's non-negotiable. I have to go to the gym 6 days a week. No ifs, ands, or buts. If I don't feel like going to the gym, I still go. After a couple of months, habit took over; now I don't feel like my day is complete unless I've done my workout.

And interestingly, I feel a lot better about myself since I started doing this.

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#1061498 - 02/23/09 03:32 PM Re: How much do you practice?
2AMChopin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/09
Posts: 29
Loc: Portland Or
from 1 to 5 hours-usually at night. Sometimes Longer if I've had a stressful week.
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#1061499 - 02/23/09 05:31 PM Re: How much do you practice?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3551
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
I'd like to make a comment about this from another perspective. Sometimes it's OK to do something that you don't really feel like doing. It's not going to damage you psychologically if you practice when you're "not in the mood", in fact, just the opposite happens: often when you practice on those days you weren't in the mood, you feel better for having done it anyways. Just doing something is better than nothing, and accomplishing even one task is a good thing. You can even counter the "I don't want to attitude" before it even sets in by saying, "I will be glad I did it after it's done." ;\) [/b]
Great advice!

Some of you people have just got to learn to stop whinning, learn how to kick yourselves in the butt and get busy doing what you know you have to do - and no excuses!

And besides, often if you're not "in the mood" to practice and you force yourself to sit down and start to practice a little very often inspiration grabs a hold of you and you really get into it afterall.

I typicaly practice 3-5 hours per day - whether I'm in the mood or not!

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

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#1061500 - 02/23/09 06:05 PM Re: How much do you practice?
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
I get grumpy when I CAN'T practice so I never feel like I HAVE to..

I usually practice 3 hours per day. Weekends can be more or less depending on other commitments.
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#1061501 - 02/23/09 10:19 PM Re: How much do you practice?
FormerFF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 476
Loc: Roswell, GA, USA
I'd like to say I practice an hour a day, but I'd be lying. The only time I have to practice is the time after dinner and before my youngest daughter goes to bed. I usually squeak in 35 or 40 minutes. Sometimes something comes up, like my older daughter wants me to take her to her lesson, and I get a little less. On the weekend, I usually get my hour.

If anyone needs a little extra motivation, consider putting yourself on the MOYD .
_________________________
Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.

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#1061502 - 02/23/09 11:01 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Seneca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Portland, OR
More than I should and less than I would like to.

Keep in mind, fellow adults, unless you are a church musician, a teacher, or a cocktail lounge pianist, playing the piano is a pleasant diversion, a means of self expression, a release and a way to participate humbly in a musical tradition central to our culture. It has nothing to do with meeting your obligations to your family or your community.

It is very easy to become addicted to practice. We all want to get better. But for most of us, there are more important things in our lives. So it is very easy to succumb, to hide out at the keyboard, and to fail those who depend on us while we single mindedly pursue excellence in our passion.

Practice is a bit like exercise, or wine. A good cardio workout a couple of times a week or a glass of wine with dinner are wonderful aspects of a healthy lifestyle. But the antisocial gym rat or the gal knocking back a bottle of chardonney every night has taken it too far. It's easy to do the same thing with piano practice.

Now, there are those who would suggest you practice when you aren't in the mood. It will be good for you, or so it's said. Well, there are those who suggest you drink when you're not in the mood, as well. If the boss wants to go out for beers . . . go out for beers. Good for the career.

When I was very young, in the 1970s, I had a boss who at lunch would rhetorically ask, "Seneca, how are martinis at lunch like the wings on an airplane?" He would answer himself, "one is too few and three is too many." And we would drink another round of martinis. It was bad for my afternoon productivity, but good for my career.

So I was soured early on by that approach to life.

I should practice less. I'd like to practice more. So I guess I'm in balance.
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#1061503 - 02/24/09 01:11 AM Re: How much do you practice?
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
More than I should and less than I would like to.

Keep in mind, fellow adults, unless you are a church musician, a teacher, or a cocktail lounge pianist, playing the piano is a pleasant diversion, a means of self expression, a release and a way to participate humbly in a musical tradition central to our culture. It has nothing to do with meeting your obligations to your family or your community.

It is very easy to become addicted to practice. We all want to get better. But for most of us, there are more important things in our lives. So it is very easy to succumb, to hide out at the keyboard, and to fail those who depend on us while we single mindedly pursue excellence in our passion.

Practice is a bit like exercise, or wine. A good cardio workout a couple of times a week or a glass of wine with dinner are wonderful aspects of a healthy lifestyle. But the antisocial gym rat or the gal knocking back a bottle of chardonney every night has taken it too far. It's easy to do the same thing with piano practice.
[/b]
The question is what obligations do we have to our family and to the community, and are you sure that piano practice (or exercise, for that matter) has nothing to do with it?

Now, my approach to the piano may be somewhat different - I am a returnee rather than a beginner, and music is a hugely important part of my life. I'm not a church musician, but I do play semi-professionally, and I'd like to get good. If nothing else, being able to play at a professional level will give me other employment options that, in this economy, can't be sneezed at.

But all that aside, playing the piano makes me happy. When I wasn't practicing and wasn't playing, I was unhappy. Now, I was perfectly functional, and I was fulfilling my obligations to my family and my community, in a numb sort of way, but I cried every time I read a musician's biography. When I returned to music, I became much happier.

Happy people work better, and are a lot more use to their families and communities, than unhappy people are. If what it takes to keep me happy is regular piano practice, I'd rather do that than gobble Prozac.

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#1061504 - 02/24/09 02:38 AM Re: How much do you practice?
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by -Frycek:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Virginia Mom:

Frycek said 3-6 hours! Holy cow! What else do you do? [/b]
I work in anatomic pathology in a hospital laboratory full time. My only child is 24 and currently in charge of reptiles at a pet superstore. To put it succinctly, I have a job and a piano. [/b]
Thank you for that image! Post of the day.
 Quote:
Originally posted by -Frycek:
It's a matter of setting priorities... I just don't watch TV. [/b]
Given that the average TV watching time is 4 hours per day per family, this is the most probable source of practice time for most American families. No time, schmo time. Sell the TVs, and use the cable money for piano lessons and a good newspaper. You and your children will become less lazy, more intelligent, better informed, more integrated as human beings and the discipline of playing piano will improve discipline in other areas of life.

http://www.whitedot.org/issue/fix_faqs.asp

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#1061505 - 02/24/09 01:03 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2271
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
I try for an hour per day. I've been playing for about 5 months now.

10 minutes is spent on scales and A Dozen A Day, to warm up per my teacher's instruction. The next 45 minutes is split between what I'm working on for now: Four Little Pieces by Turk (this gives me something I can actually play!), Minuet in G from the A.M Bach Notebook, and Gavott by Duncombe for the Royal Exam.

Even if I'm tired, or don't feel like it, once I start practice, it becomes enjoyable and fun.

Most weekends I'm far away from a piano hiking or climbing, but it's all part of the big picture. Actually, hiking and climbing is very good preparation for piano. They both involve lots of repetition and tedium that takes you someplace special. If you take enough small steps, you travel a long way.
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#1061506 - 02/24/09 03:06 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Ken. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 285
I was wondering, for those of you who practice less than 30 minutes a day or every other day are you finding you still make progress?

I started taking up piano a year ago as a second instrument and try to keep my practice limited to 20 mins every morning before leaving for work. I get up 20 mins earlier. Sometimes I will add another 5-10 minutes in the evening in between doing other things.

I've also been doing arranging on the side for the last year as well, but I'm finding doing both piano and arranging every day is not possible, so I'm thinking about alternating between these two every other day.

Also, about the length of a practice session, I used to do one long session each day, but recently I tried breaking it up into 20 minute sessions with breaks in between. Since I changed to that I've just carried on doing it and think I prefer it now to doing one long session. The rationale behind that is that you and your brain are freshest in first 20 minutes.

There was a website which even stated that according to some study you retained 90% of what you practised in the first 20 minutes, and only 10% of what you practised thereafter. So based on that, for an hour's continuous practice you retained about 22 minutes, but for three 20 minute sessions 54 minutes.
_________________________
Monk - Think of One
Bach - Two Part Invention No.12

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#1061507 - 02/24/09 03:20 PM Re: How much do you practice?
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I remember practicing anywhere between 4-10 in college, but I felt like I wasted a lot of that time not practicing right.. Ever since I started having problems with my hands I became a lot of conscientious about how I practice. I do about 3-4 now, and I no longer feel bad about doing more, because I am happy with the quality of my practice and I am getting something done.

I remember talking to someone about this, lets say you are practicing 5hrs+ a day as a studen.. but now you were in a situation where you can only practice only 1 hr a day... that really changes how you practice, how efficiently you practice, and your priorities are.. I guess what he meant was, practice 1 hr as if you were practicing for 6hrs... otherwise don't even think about doing more.

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#1061508 - 02/24/09 03:25 PM Re: How much do you practice?
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Hey VM,

When I was a kid I hated practicing, now I really enjoy it quite a bit, except when I'm in one of my frustrated moods when nothing seems to be going right. I probably put in an average of 1 hour per day, though some days up to 2. I'd put in more time, but my hands are prone to over-use syndromes so I force myself to take it easy.

Sounds like your main trouble is finding the time. I don't think there's anything wrong with practicing is small chunks. Ten or 15 minutes here, another 20 minutes there. I do this, and get to play throughout the day and I really enjoy that. I actually think, at least for me, that breaking my practice sessions up is helpful, both physically and psychologically

Hope that helps a little. The thing is, there are no rules. Do what makes you happy. \:\)

CG

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#1061509 - 02/24/09 03:46 PM Re: How much do you practice?
JazzPianoEducator Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 203
Loc: Denver, CO
These days I practice actually in front of a piano as time allows. Sometimes 30 mins, sometimes many hours. Performing and teaching also puts me in front of the piano quite a bit and depending on the gig I can work on what I've been practicing or not.

I also think it is important to mention that practice doesn't always have to be in front of the piano. I was taught this early on and there are some great ways to practice when you're on an airplane, in the car, on a walk, etc. I've posted a short article about this on my website if you're curious:

Practicing Piano
_________________________
Find Piano Lessons | Piano Teacher Advertising

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#1061510 - 02/24/09 03:50 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Seneca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Portland, OR
Hi, Larisa--

To put it alliteratively, if not musically--when picking your poison, piano is preferable to prozac.

More seriously, in some of your other posts you've mentioned you are finishing law school and starting a legal career. I would think, after a frustrating day as a junior lawyer when everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and anyone who could be unreasonable was unreasonable, sitting down at the piano (particularly with 16 years of classical instruction, or whatever you've had, to your credit) would be a very satisfying and stress relieving release.

I know whereof I speak--I started a legal career decades ago. As a matter of fact, the martini man I mentioned in my first post was a senior partner in the firm. It was a major brain-liver test to have lunch with him and then go back to the office and spend the afternoon drafting contracts. Hopefully you won't face any of that, now that the world has gone soft and the firms have started heating the associates' offices and there is running water in the staff lavatories.
_________________________
Seneca
http://apachecadillac.blogspot.com/

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#1061511 - 02/24/09 05:19 PM Re: How much do you practice?
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
Seneca,

Amazing how many lawyers there are here in PianoWorld. It gives me great hope. \:\)

And yes, practicing is great stress relief for me. I think the only reason I got this far in law school with my sanity relatively intact is because I could escape to the practice room after lectures.

The law firm I'm going to work for after graduation has its own rock band - two partners and two associates. I have the feeling that my method of stress relief won't be considered too terribly unusual.

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#1061512 - 02/25/09 09:59 AM Re: How much do you practice?
Coolkid70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 378
Loc: Irvine, CA
I'm a university student at the moment, so I have a lot of free time. I usually practise for two to four hours each day, depending on my piano workload. If I am trying to actually learn a piece, I will spend three to four, easily.

I can spend a lot more time on top by checking out new music (scores and audio) and trying to learn more about history or theory. So I can really spend toward eight hours a day on music-related activities.
_________________________
Kawai K-3 (2008)

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#1717598 - 07/20/11 11:10 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
RachManiac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/11
Posts: 44
Loc: New Jersey
I have been playing the piano for roughly 8 years (I'm only 15), and I practice for anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours! It really depends; I think the averge would be about 2 to 3 hours, but because I have a lot of other extra-curricular commitments, the actual daily amount can vary a lot. However simply due to my intense love of the piano, and romantic period music, I try to practice as much as I can. Doing this, I have been able to progress quite well, I went from studying some of the easiest chopin études, to some very difficult pieces by composers such as Liszt and Rachmaninoff in roughly an 18-24 month period. I've noticed that as I get more and more advanced, I tend to practice more; simply because as I get better, it gets more and more fun! (Please pardon my english, french is my native language.)
_________________________
Music is enough for life, but life is not enough for music.-Rachmaninoff

Working on: Chopin waltz Op.64 No.2, Mozart K.331, Bach praeludium no.7 BWV 876

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#1717651 - 07/21/11 12:58 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
Julii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/09
Posts: 33
Loc: North Walsham, Norfolk, UK
I am lucky if I manage 20 minutes a day on average.

I don't watch TV, btw smile. I have trouble practising when the TV is on (piano has to be in same room as TV). I find it hard to practise when exhausted or otherwise worried/distracted, too (I have 4 young children, no child-free time except when youngest is in preschool; and I feel tired most of the time).

I am guilty of surfing online a lot of my time, but that's because it's easy to do in 20 second -5 minute snippets. I can't get much out of piano practice in unforeseeable snippets of time: I need to have some realistic hope of my practice session lasting at least 3 minutes to be able to concentrate at all.

Also I have injuries in my hands so physically I couldn't do more than an hour/day, even if I had the time.

Yes I am making progress but I have to have realistic expectations; it's taken me 5 yrs to get to being able to play Grade 2 stuff; I'm trying to work on consolidating G2 technique now, which I expect to take the next 1-3 years, before I move on to G3 stuff.

Given I'm the sort of person that others have publicly pointed at and laughed at and made really horrendously cruel remarks to my face about my musical declination, I'm quite pleased with my progress, actually smile.

I will go practise in a minute, though it's not yet 6am & I run the risk of waking somebody up, lol.

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#1717670 - 07/21/11 01:25 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Julii]
BenPiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Julii
Given I'm the sort of person that others have publicly pointed at and laughed at and made really horrendously cruel remarks to my face about my musical declination, I'm quite pleased with my progress, actually smile.


Sorry to hear that this has happened to you. Given your circumstances, schedule, and determination, I can't see why anyone, including yourself, shouldn't be proud of what you've achieved!

Please, keep going - a little bit each day adds up!
_________________________
Learning to play since June 2009.
My piano diary on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/afpaSTU1096
<- 10+ ABF recitals

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#1717674 - 07/21/11 01:26 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: BenPiano]
Julii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/09
Posts: 33
Loc: North Walsham, Norfolk, UK
And it's satisfying to prove the b******s wrong smile.

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#1717724 - 07/21/11 03:24 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Larisa]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: Larisa
Happy people work better, and are a lot more use to their families and communities, than unhappy people are. If what it takes to keep me happy is regular piano practice, I'd rather do that than gobble Prozac.


I suspect that's why wife and kids put up with my pianophilia. At the end of the day, it isn't a source of income and it can be very isolating and antisocial.

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#1739382 - 08/23/11 11:45 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
cindycindy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 10
Loc: New Zealand
For those who practice 4+ hours a day:

4 hours of practice a day is the maximum recommended time for anybody(including professionals) -- and that's plenty of time. The brain can only concentrate for 7-15 minutes in one go, for a certain amount of time in one day. Your muscles and tendons can only stand so much strain.

If you feel that you need to practice much more than 4 hours a day, either you are biting off much more repertoire than you can chew, or your practice is too inefficient and unfocused.


Edited by cindycindy (08/24/11 01:07 AM)
_________________________
2011 repertoire

SOLO
Bach P&F G maj book I
Chopin Etude Ab major Op. 25 no. 1
Chopin Impromptu no. 1 op. 29
Bartok 3 Burlesques op. 8
Liszt Annes de Pelerinage - Sposalizio
Haydn Sonata in b minor XVI: 32
Debussy Prelude - Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir
Schumann Arabesque Op. 18

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#1739668 - 08/24/11 12:30 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
GracieCat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 340
Loc: USA
The time I spend practicing has increased over the last 3 months. I generally practice 20-40 minutes at a time, 5-6 times a day (7 days a week). So that works out to like 2 hours a day. I get very antsy if I don't have time to sit and practice.

I keep a written log of what I have practiced each time so I can be sure to cover everything I need to instead of just covering what I like.
_________________________
Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue

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#1739699 - 08/24/11 01:13 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: GracieCat]
Hrochan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 95
Loc: Czech Republic
Originally Posted By: GracieCat
I generally practice 20-40 minutes at a time, 5-6 times a day (7 days a week)

I do it the same way, and I think it's the best approach. If I practise over an hour, the concetration level is really low, it's much better to split the practise to several sessions smile ideally, one session for each ''problem'' (individual pieces, scales, technical exercises, sight-reading)
_________________________
The Beginning: chilly morning of 10th April 2010

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#1974035 - 10/16/12 11:50 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
im@me Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/12
Posts: 68
I am starting to do more than a couple of hours a day, and weekends i do around 10 over the 2 days, I am a teenager

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#1974303 - 10/16/12 10:22 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
Oongawa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 238
I don't practice as much as I'd like, due to work/family obligations and also other musicians playing.

Recently, i started doing this: My present goal is 8 hours a week.
When I get home from my lesson, I set my timer for 8 hours. Then whenever I start practicing, I start the timer. When I stop practicing, I pause it. This helps me to avoid a last minute cram.

I also make it a point to run over and run through a song or two when the opportunity presents itself. It might only be a few minutes but it all helps.

So I might not have as many long focused sessions as I'd like but the short ones help too. I usually manage a couple of long focused sessions where I really work on particularly hard stuff with lots of repetition.
_________________________
Oongawa
Presently working on:
Schumann - Ave Maria
Saint Saens- Danse Macabre
Attempting a little blues improv
'69 Mason & Hamlin Model A

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#1974313 - 10/16/12 10:54 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
musicendeavour Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 14
Loc: Wellington, New Zealand
I try and do 30 minutes every night before bed. Work has been crazy though the last few weeks (70+ hours) so any spare time is mostly just wind down quiet time before bed.

yuo actually need a lot of mental stamina to practice effectively. Hopefully I'll get some time off work early next year to spend some quality time practicing.

I'm going for my ABRSM grade 1 exam next year. Check out my blog to see my progress!
_________________________
My blog tracking my progress as I learn the piano.

http://www.pianoendeavour.blogspot.com

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#1974503 - 10/17/12 11:27 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
Talitha Hardjuno Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/12
Posts: 3
Loc: Jakarta, Indonesia.
Yeah, me too. I don't really believe in practicing for more than 2 hours, it will exhaust me and I won't be focused anymore. I usually practice for 1-2 hours, 5 days a week. It actually depends on the difficulty of the piece I'm learning, though. I'm currently learning Chopin Op 62 no 2 and Chopin Op 10 no 5, quite difficult for me, so I need at least 1.5 hour of practice.
_________________________
17. Pianist. Bookworm. Shoe addict. Wander and wonder at the same time.

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#1976308 - 10/20/12 02:26 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
Rusty Fortysome Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/11
Posts: 194
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Virginia Mom
I'm curious to know how much you usually practice? How many times per week and how often per practice.... I was thinking I could do 15-20 minutes a day without a problem. One of the teachers I spoke with expects an hour a day, which seems like a lot.


For the first 3 months, 20 minutes/day is enough.

However, you will have to--HAVE TO--study far more as you develop. Doing 20 minutes a day for 10 years will get you almost nowhere. Sometime you need to do 1-2 hours a day to progress steadily.

Learning piano is a progressive thing, and it's like being a baby again, learning to walk or talk or whatever. You waddle around and flop about for months and then you stumble around for a year or two, and then you get cocky and zip up and down in short bursts before you show off a couple years as you overdo everything. Then you get confident and comfortable and go everywhere for a decade or two before settling down and doing a bit of exercise while having a drink after work, etc.

Within a couple years you should gear up for 2-3 hours/day to push yourself upward. Chopin said over 3 hours is a detriment, and that's awesome... if you believe Chopin did it that way, which he didn't. Many pros can be a student's worst enemy to stop possible competition. You can practice about anything in anyway as long as possible during your first few thousand hours of practice, as long as basic technique is good, because you are building muscle and ear coordination to make you able to play fluidly. After that, when you are an advanced student, you have to settle down and focus on progressing while playing instead of just playing to understand how to play, or you spin wheels. According to the "Outliers" and the Andersen 10,000 rule of practice, it will take 10 years to settle into a dedicated study; that's the point when your mind will pull everything together and you will be able to become "a natural".
_________________________
Currently working on/memorizing...
"It's You" from Robotech
"He's A Pirate"
"Crazy Bone Rag"
"Claire DeLune (finally)"

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#1977553 - 10/23/12 11:41 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
I play around 2-5 hours a day. Not all at once, I break it up... before work, after work, before bed time etc... if you play too long you start getting fatigued (if your playing and concentrating correctly) which can lead to mistakes and soreness. Try and break up your playing throughout the day...

and when you are practicing, actually give your full concentration. Full concentration for 20mins is better than an hour playing whilst the TV is on, or you're thinking about what chores, work, kids need to eat for dinner etc etc etc...

use your time wisely
_________________________
Essex EUP-123S


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#1977604 - 10/23/12 02:52 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
Farmerjones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 194
Loc: USA
I wouldn't say i practice at all. I file through my rep. and refresh myself on the tunes that grab me at the time. I want to do this for hours but my hands get tired, so it's usually no more than an hour, but it's every day. I don't recommend my approach to anybody, but this is what i do/want. I've only been playing piano for 5 months, but put in the thousands of hours on the violin and a few other instruments. I understand it takes time, and i can easily commit the time.

It's almost like there has to be another instrument of the same name. But Chopin disciple, or barrelhouse player like me, the common denominator is time. The new neural connections(pathways) take time be built. I think science confirms that forming new neural connections is easier if it's done routinely. I've been learning songs for fifty years. It would hurt more to stop, to not play music, than it would to continue.


Edited by Farmerjones (10/23/12 03:56 PM)

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#1977609 - 10/23/12 03:05 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
Morte Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/20/12
Posts: 8
Loc: Israel
Currently I practice A LOT, but it's only because it's the beginning of the semester, I think I'll eventually average on an hour per day for 5-6 days per week, I can get away with it if I keep a strict schedule.
_________________________
“Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.”

-Albert Einstein

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#1977645 - 10/23/12 04:33 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 626
Loc: NY and NC
I don't really practice as such anymore. I just play whatever I feel in the mood for, and when I am really starting to hit things pretty smoothly, I pull out the seriously advance things that I can't really play and I play some of the easier parts, or, if I am really firing on all eight cylinders, I expand into some of the harder parts to add them to my wish list. I may never be able to play some of these all the way through, but I only play for my own enjoyment, so I do what I like. Usually I can sit and play for about three hours or until body pain makes me quit. I have been known to put in three or four sessions of an hour or two in the same day. It all depends on whatever I have to do. I am retired and have lots of time. If I had been able to take lessons when I was young, I would do everything differently, but I have never had a lesson on the piano, so it has taken me about 45 years to get to the same level as my daughter did in three.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Working on jazz standards and Chopin nocturnes, preludes, and mazurkas (the easier ones.)

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