Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1433349 - 05/10/10 03:51 AM Practice Journals
Oz Marcus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/09
Posts: 457
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Hi Guys,

I am currently reading a textbook "Psychology for Musicians" and have been interested in some of what the psychology literature has to say about musical performance and ability. I was of course, saddened to discover there are no shortcuts to make you a great pianist without any practice.

One of the fundamental concepts that the book talks about though is the quality of the practice. Much of the work that I did in my Masters was centred around Reflection and Reflective practice in medical education, and it has got me thinking about the use of a reflective journal to promote better practice habits.

The basic idea is that for each practice session, I will have a goal or purpose for the session, rather than just sitting down to practice. I will then assess my performance (possibly by recording some of it, possibly by judging whether or not I have been able to achieve the goals that I set for the session) and finally by planning my next practice session, based upon what I have already achieved. This, I suspect, might improve the quality of my practice session, but I suspect that those of you who are musical Wunderkinds out there, may already do something along these lines.

Does anyone have any suggestions or feedback?
Does anyone keep a reflective practice journal?
How do you all try and make sure that your practice is good quality practice?

Cheers

M
_________________________
Oz Marcus
Currently working on:
Schubert Impromptu in C minor - D899
Chopin Prelude Op28 No 15, nocturne Op48 no 1
Bach Prelude & Fuge WTC II No 12 in F minor
Aspiring to Rautavaara - Piano Sonata 2 - Fire Sermon

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1433454 - 05/10/10 09:01 AM Re: Practice Journals [Re: Oz Marcus]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 751
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
I've tried, but I couldn't think of anything to say. Which made me feel rather dumb. I would like to see a sample of a practice journal. I'm also not sure about setting goals for a particular practice session, other than playing less badly than I did last time. They should be more specific than that, I would think?

Top
#1433485 - 05/10/10 10:00 AM Re: Practice Journals [Re: moscheles001]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
If you can find a thread ShiroKiro posted awhile ago, she had a really good practice log that she kept.

Rich
_________________________

Top
#1433490 - 05/10/10 10:11 AM Re: Practice Journals [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4669
Loc: Seattle area, WA
My last teacher forced me to keep a practice journal so she could see what I practiced and for how long. She thought it would be encouraging but I think it was a holdover from her work with children. I found it to be juvenile, hated keeping it, filled it out at the last minute and for me it was a waste of time. When I sit down to practice I do have specific goals in mind - master this many measures, polish this portion of a piece, etc. I don't need to write it down. I never found the journal useful.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

Top
#1433494 - 05/10/10 10:16 AM Re: Practice Journals [Re: gooddog]
Nikolas Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4994
Loc: Europe
Deborah is very right I think! It depends on the specific person. I never keep journals, not even agentas to what I have to do. It's all in my head. Dates, deadlines, whatever! Too much anxiety I guess, but I don't know how I'd feel if I'd let go by writting everything down! shocked
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

Top
#1433496 - 05/10/10 10:22 AM Re: Practice Journals [Re: Nikolas]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4669
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I should note that I do keep a very detailed journal of my science lessons - what I taught, what I gave for homework, what went well, what didn't go well, how long things took - because I cannot keep this many details in my head and I will find it very useful next year.

I do make small notations on my music of fingering, dynamics, hand motions, etc. so in a way, I suppose this is a form of journaling but I do not keep a record of what I worked on any a particular day or how long I worked on it.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

Top
#1433502 - 05/10/10 10:27 AM Re: Practice Journals [Re: gooddog]
Nikolas Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4994
Loc: Europe
Well... I constantly keep drafts of my music I guess, so this is a way of note keeping, but I'm not sure we're talking about this, but about a disciplanary action that would never work with me... never has... wink
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

Top
#1433504 - 05/10/10 10:32 AM Re: Practice Journals [Re: gooddog]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 751
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
I can see how being forced to keep a journal, and apparently so that your practice can be policed, can be unhelpful (to say the least). From my years as a writing teacher, though, I know that writing down your thoughts (even in an incomplete way) can help you grasp things more clearly. The physical act of writing, and then seeing your ideas in writing, can both clarify and stimulate ideas.

Of course, when I try to do it, it stimulates the part of me that likes to say, "Um, maybe you should go wait in the car."

Top
#1433509 - 05/10/10 10:35 AM Re: Practice Journals [Re: Nikolas]
pianogirl87 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 107
Loc: New Jersey
It's a good idea, but just never implemented. I ought to try it with my current repertoire and see what happens.
_________________________
Pianist/Accompanist/Piano Instructor

Top
#1433524 - 05/10/10 11:06 AM Re: Practice Journals [Re: Oz Marcus]
Ridicolosamente Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1448
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
I studied Beethoven's C minor Variations last year, and I wouldn't call it a "journal", but for a piece of that architecture - short variations with very specifically technical structures - I found it very useful to keep a daily "log" of my practice. My memory is usually pretty good with such things, but for this piece, I recorded metronome markings, commented on my consistency, and also noted what to concentrate on in the next practice session. I'd review this just before my following practice session, and I definitely think it helped me to make the most of my short practice sessions, and eliminated wasted time playing through variations that were further along than others.

The Beethoven is the only piece I've done this with so far. At the time, I was also working on a Shostakovich Prelude & Fugue, and a Brahms late Intermezzo, and I didn't find the daily log useful/necessary for those two.

-Daniel
_________________________
Currently working on:
-Dane Rudhyar's Stars from Pentagrams No 3

Top
#1433542 - 05/10/10 11:45 AM Re: Practice Journals [Re: Ridicolosamente]
Piano Again Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1162
Loc: Washington metro
I have started keeping a very basic practice log. At the end of any practice session, no matter how short, I simply jot down (in a dedicated notebook, not just a scrap of paper) how long I practiced, what I covered, and how I practiced it (e.g., slowly with metronome, last page, hands separate, etc.). I'm not sure what it will do for me, if anything, but perhaps it will help me to see patterns and be realistic about how much I am actually practicing.

I feel that too much planning and organization is restrictive and doesn't take feelings into account -- especially for amateurs. For example, what if you had planned to practice one piece but when you sit down that day, you just don't want to play it at that moment, for whatever reason? Isn't it better to practice something else that you really want to play rather than half-heartedly work on what you had planned just because you planned it (or not practice at all)?

The other thing about rigid practice plans is that they tend to get you in a place where you feel uncomfortable unless you always play things in a certain order. The ideal is to be able to play anything in any order at any time (okay, I said it was the ideal!).
_________________________
Recovering cellist, amateur pianist.


Check out my blog !


Top
#1433557 - 05/10/10 12:09 PM Re: Practice Journals [Re: Ridicolosamente]
Rania Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 63
Loc: Jordan
I've tried keeping a practice journal but haven't been consistent with it. Instead I leave notes on the score I'm working on, e.g. Monday 10/5: quaver=55, staccato (goal: 65 by Wednesday), etc. I tend to write too much on my music and this of-course makes it very messy, but it helps me remember. I would still like to give the journal a more honest try. I've asked one of my young beginning students to keep one, and I told her I'd do the same for encouragement.


Edited by Rania (05/10/10 12:13 PM)
_________________________
I am hitting my head against the wall, but the wall is giving away.
-Gustav Mahler


Top
#1433570 - 05/10/10 12:32 PM Re: Practice Journals [Re: Piano Again]
Rania Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 63
Loc: Jordan

Originally Posted By: Piano Again
I feel that too much planning and organization is restrictive and doesn't take feelings into account -- especially for amateurs. For example, what if you had planned to practice one piece but when you sit down that day, you just don't want to play it at that moment, for whatever reason? Isn't it better to practice something else that you really want to play rather than half-heartedly work on what you had planned just because you planned it (or not practice at all)?
The other thing about rigid practice plans is that they tend to get you in a place where you feel uncomfortable unless you always play things in a certain order. The ideal is to be able to play anything in any order at any time (okay, I said it was the ideal!).


I don’t think the problem is planning itself- it’s following a rigid routine. Playing the same order of scales, etudes and pieces every day at the same hour kills spontaneity. I would rephrase “taking your feelings into account” as having the flexibility to be creative. You should, however, be able to practice what you need to practice against your mood at the moment. Start, and the mood will follow. I don't think improvement can truly happen until one gets used to going where one is not entirely comfortable.
_________________________
I am hitting my head against the wall, but the wall is giving away.
-Gustav Mahler


Top
#1433573 - 05/10/10 12:40 PM Re: Practice Journals [Re: Rania]
Piano Again Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1162
Loc: Washington metro
Of course, if you have to prepare for something specific, yes, you need to make yourself. (I've certainly been there!!!) But if you're just talking about general practice, when you're not on a timeline, I don't see any harm in giving Beethoven a rest one day because you really want to practice Bach. If you're slogging joylessly through Beethoven, it doesn't do you or Beethoven any good. Try him again the next day instead with a fresher mind.
_________________________
Recovering cellist, amateur pianist.


Check out my blog !


Top

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
139 registered (Al LaPorte, accordeur, AmateurBob, Almaviva, 43 invisible), 1666 Guests and 35 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74258 Members
42 Forums
153605 Topics
2251272 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
I just can't get my head around temperament!
by LarryShone
04/20/14 01:05 PM
clavinova clp 115
by rochoula
04/20/14 01:01 PM
DIsassemble Kawai MP10/MP11
by prox
04/20/14 10:59 AM
Action regulating
by pater57
04/20/14 08:59 AM
Kurzweil SP5-8 as main studio keyboard/stage piano
by Barty
04/20/14 08:33 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission