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Topic Options
#1084295 - 10/24/04 07:33 AM Amount of practice
screaming_wind Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 13
how long should one practice in a day to be able to get real good with the piano if the person is just starting out?

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#1084296 - 10/24/04 07:48 AM Re: Amount of practice
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
That depends. I'm not big on time. I prefer to tell my students to practice their skill "so many times perfect" For example, play the D Major scale 5x perect, the D, A, E arpeggios 5x perfect. Each piece or specified section 5x perfect each day. This way you're not just filling in time, but your practice has a purpose. My students have longer practice sessions the first few days after their lesson, then shorter sessions closer to their lesson because they have become proficient with their time.

Good luck!

Cranky woman \:D

#1084297 - 10/24/04 07:52 AM Re: Amount of practice
Cindysphinx Offline

Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
I think the rule of thumb is 30 minutes a day, but it varies a lot.

It depends on how fast you want to learn. I have found, though, that if I just tell myself that I'll just run through one little piece or play a scale, I'll get involved and won't notice that an hour has passed.
Vote For Cindy!!


#1084298 - 10/24/04 08:21 AM Re: Amount of practice
markjpcs Offline

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Wisconsin
I like the 5x idea. I will try for at least 1 hour a day even repeating what I have down 5x to say 10x perfect to reinforce that exercise or section of a piece.

30 minutes is a good beginner guideline though. Even if you sit down for 10 or 15 minutes at a time.

Yesterday I practiced for about 4+ hours. Not all at once but in 1 hour increments or so.
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#1084299 - 10/24/04 09:14 AM Re: Amount of practice
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
Welcome to the forum screaming wind. A lot of us also divide our practice sessions into parts to make the most of our time. I usually like to warm up my hands with a few scales and arpeggios for about 10 minutes. Then I do repertoire for 20-40 minutes, depending on how much time I have. Last, I try to sight-read for the last 10-20 minutes, again depending on time. I think you'll find, just like Cindy alluded too, that once you get focused the time will simply breeze by. Before you know it, an hour has gone by.
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

#1084300 - 10/24/04 10:05 AM Re: Amount of practice
screaming_wind Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 13
thanks for the welcome. i'm asking this because i actually want to learn 3 instrumentspiano, guitar, violin), so i'm contemplating how many hrs of freet time i'll have if i practice with dedication for the 3 instruments

#1084301 - 10/24/04 05:14 PM Re: Amount of practice
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
screaming are you a music major, or just a masochist? ;\)
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

#1084302 - 10/24/04 07:35 PM Re: Amount of practice
screaming_wind Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 13
just someone who really enjoys music. i actually took a few guitar and piano in the past but really just a few. Not enough to ingrain anything on my hand or head. I never really took it seriously in the past and now have decided to.

#1084303 - 10/29/04 11:44 AM Re: Amount of practice
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
I like to have at least two short sessions in a day. Learning research has shown that people retain more by learning in multiple short sessions as opposed to one long one. One reason is that people retain more of what they learn at the beginning and the end of a session. So, if you break up your practice into shorter sessions, you have more beginnings and endings and fewer middles.

Also, to get the most out of your practice time, concentrate on what you can't play. If there's a measure or two that you're having trouble with, practice those measures until you master them. Sure, it's more fun to be able to play what's easy for you, but to make the most of limited practice time, attack the hard parts.
markb--The Count of Casio

#1084304 - 10/31/04 06:29 PM Re: Amount of practice
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
markb hit the nail on the head.

I break up my 1 - 1 1/2 hours a day into parts of 15-20 minutes. I learn best this way.
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".


#1084305 - 11/01/04 01:10 PM Re: Amount of practice
HermanM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Newport, VA
I'll second the vote on multiple sessions. I like to knock out the technique bits (scales, arpegios, Hanon, chord inversions, blah blah blah) in the morning, then get up after I get BFO (burnt out) with those. Stagger in at any other time of the day to work on pieces - the fun stuff.
I played it better at home.


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