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#1989035 - 11/20/12 05:44 PM advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
Hello fellow pw people.

Brief situation roundup:

Started self study ten years ago, had a teacher for a year (passed abrsm grade 1) and have spent the last nine years learning pieces with self study... on and off...
Have now got back into proper study with the purchase of a new digital piano and the availability of a couple of hours every night.
I'm now back with a teacher and have covered grade 2 and shes happy for me to be covering grade 3 and upwards for theory and practical study.
I'm in a situation where my new ca95 is situated at my partners grans house over the road.
Ive had issues with my dp and engineered a deal for a new kawai k3, i will be choosing from a selection this thursday. (Very much looking forward to it!)

I have been trying to adjust my practice habits to be more efficient and been looking at better structure to incorporate focus, mental play and more theory study.

Im finding it difficult with the gran having her tv on in the background when i practice but i have to accept this situation wont change and when i get my acoustic then headphones wont be an option anyway...


Sooooo, long story but essentially... i'm thinking my time will be better spent away from the piano working on theory and mental play in a quiet room and then only getting on the piano when essential... rather than currently being constantly distracted by x factor or strictly come dancing or whatever else wonderful programs are on her tv....

Any advice on how best i can use my time? I'm dedicated to changing my practice habits for the better but obviously my piano time is somewhat distracted...

I have read much literature on mental play and study away from the piano to feel with the right focus i may be able to turn this situation to my advantage by developing strong mental play....

Any advice welcome.

Im not going to ask an 84 year old to keep the telly down or change programs as its her doing me the favour of having my piano at her place... i just need to find a good structure of development.

Regards Paul
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/PaulGPiano

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#1989038 - 11/20/12 06:00 PM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
Barbareola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Germany
This occurs to me probably because that is my project for next time: you could use the time to work on your rhythm. Either with the instrument alone, the instrument and a metronome, metronom and rhythm sticks...

I'm reading through "Rhythm: what it is and how to improve it" from Andrew Lewis and one thing that it taught me is that rhythm apparently is not something you got or you don't but that you have to practise and hone like any other skill.

Most exercises are beyond me at the moment, but maybe you can get it in the library and find some inspiration for practise there? There are probably other good books out there. Rhythm bible has been suggested to me, though while it is on my reading list I haven't gotten to it yet.
_________________________
Currently working on: Venetian Gondola song by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

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#1989054 - 11/20/12 06:42 PM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
Cookie74 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/06
Posts: 137
Loc: California
One good thing about the K3 is that it has a practice pedal that makes the piano almost silent--so you may be able to practice at times when the TV is not on and not disturb the whole house (i.e., maybe when grandma is asleep?).

I personally would just learn to practice with the distraction of the TV. Most times that you are playing, there are distractions anyway. Even when someone asks me to play for them, something always happens--kids start crying, someone starts yelling from upstairs, kids walk in and out of the room, whatever. There are always distractions. Even the pros have to deal with people coughing all the time. It's another skill that you can work on--being able to play with a distraction in the background.

As for practice away from the piano--ok, I can see the benefits, but to say it is more efficient to practice away from the piano than actually at the piano is quite a stretch, imo. Look, if she can stand you playing while she's trying to watch TV, then take advantage of that (not in an evil way). I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities for you to practice without distractions, too. You have to take the good with the bad.
_________________________
" I wish you music to help with the burdens of life, and to help you release your happiness to others."

--Ludwig van Beethoven

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#1989103 - 11/20/12 09:10 PM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Is the piano in the same room as the tv?

I can sympathise re noise- I live on a busy road and got ten buses an hour going past, police car sirens and an ice cream van playing Teddy Bear's Picnic coming round about 3 times a day.


Edited by EdwardianPiano (11/20/12 09:15 PM)
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#1989121 - 11/20/12 09:37 PM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Forgive me as I have comprehension problems. As I understand your situation, you had a digital piano and as a

result of something, you got an opportunity to get a k3 which I assume is an accoustical piano and it will be

located in your relative's place and the tv is playing.

My understanding is that piano players historically are glued to the piano bench deveoping an intimate
relationship with the piano for the whole of their life.

I got an opportunity for an accoustical piano. The realtionship is awesome. I had and have health problems

sitting at the piano as sitting up was weakening me. So I bought a cheap Yahama digital piano/keyboard, placed

the keyboard on concrete blocks tilted the keyboard so I could play it lying on my back on the floor so I could

play it without getting tired. The operative word is "cheap". You are in the uk so I don't know about the uk

except I loved London as a tourist 30 years ago. In Canada things are expensive and taxed. So my keyboard

which has weighted keys, cost about $500. Canada dollars. Most people who I know live in condos/apartments

and ALL have said they have problems when they try to play because some work all day and some work nights so

everybody is sleeping sometime - all the time. These days, they all also have a digital piano varying in

price/quality because they can play/practice 24/7/365. Piano sales people and all sort of people say in Canada

and the USA you can by used electronic pianos dirt cheap. I would not touch anything second hand from the

street, but that is just me.

At 500. dollars it is just over $2.00 a day if you divide the cost by a year and you can have it for the rest of

your life.

I don't like to play my accoustical piano after dark because I don't want street people or criminals to --

(to hear a piano even when I play pp - very sofly/quietyly)

-- know I can afford a piano even it is was a thousand years old and priceless in the poor cents! So I play the

piano/keyboard.

May I add, I understand condos and apartments costing millions or billions of dollars by the rich cannot play

their steinways without complaints. Hence, a digital for those times.

Cheers, and love the practce like I do.

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#1989139 - 11/20/12 10:02 PM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2202
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
If Granny is ok with piano playing during her telly time, then go ahead and learn to focus on your practice and just practice.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1989274 - 11/21/12 08:43 AM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10751
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
As others have said, check with Gran about playing the acoustic while she is watching tv. Otherwise, is there another time of day when she's not watching that you could practice? If not, learning to focus is not a bad thing. I can play piano and not even hear someone standing next to me asking me a question! When I have students who are preparing to perform, I will actually give them an assignment to practice with distractions so that they can keep going no matter what.

Of course, I understand that with some people (ADD) this can be very difficult to accomplish. When you find your mind wandering, just refocus it again. Be sure your practice time is structured and that you have specific tasks that you wish to accomplish in your time: measure 5 needs to be worked out, adding dynamics to this piece, etc. The more specific the better, that way you can know that you are making progress even if you do get sidetracked by the tv.

And then look for opportunities to store your piano elsewhere. Something will come up eventually - perhaps if you move to a place where you can have the piano with you.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1989489 - 11/21/12 04:21 PM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
Thankyou all for your posts!

I have to accept the situation will not be changing for some time as i have rented my house out and living with relatives for financial benefits, just over the road from grans. I get home from work at 6pm and finsh my session around 8 . 15pm to go home to my lady and family.... my times wont change and i'm going to have to focus to make my time worthwhile....
Progress is steady and to be honest if i work on my focus rather than making excuses for my mind wandering i will be better off...


I have a dp too, a spare that is reasonable and i gave to my three year opd daughter but may get it back for keeping in our flat for more options whilst playing... her mother mentioned they arent really using it currently... rather they keep it but i will see how it goes..



Anyway... off to pick my kawai k3 tomorrow.... at the age of 32 i probably should not be so childishly excited..... tonight will be a loooong night! :-)
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/PaulGPiano

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#1989526 - 11/21/12 05:25 PM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Ooh nice a new piano!
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#1989662 - 11/22/12 04:16 AM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 446
Loc: Europe
Well, if you would still stay, besides enjoying your beautiful acoustic piano whenever possible, with a DP (sorry didn´t understand if you finally will stay with a DP as an additional instrument, or not), then you might just want to search for some "closed" headphones! There are in general two headphone designs: open, and closed. Open is said to in general sound a little bit better, and allows you to also hear what´s around you. Close headphones work like earmuffs / ear protection, and thus isolate you to a certain extend from sourrounding noise, so that you can better concentrate on the music played inside the headphones.
I don´t have any recommendation based on personal experience, but the forum is full on information about headphones, and I summarized for my own future purchase of better headphonesm that this ones could be the closed-back models of interest:
Audio-Technica M50
Sony MDR 7506 Studio Professional
Sennheiser 280 Pro
_________________________
learning Piano on my Roland HP-505
before playing Drums in adults bluesband on handpicked set; before crashing E-Guitar in kids garage band; raised on home entertainment Organ and Keyboard models Eminent Solina P240, Farfisa Maharani 259R, Technics KN800, and on Mouth Organ, Recorder and Accordion

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#1990142 - 11/23/12 08:11 PM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
lizzie3 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I think you'll get use to it with time, sometimes I tend to put a movie in just for me to practice against. It doesnt seem to affect my practicing negatively. smile
_________________________
Dont go to a hardware store looking for a loaf of bread

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#1990205 - 11/24/12 02:38 AM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
I seem to be focusing pretty well with the tv on..... it jist takes focus and practice i guess..... if i keep the digital then itll be back at ky apartment bit closed back headphones will definately be a must....

Seems sunday nights are the worst..... x factor and strictly come dancing just seem to go right through me!:-)
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/PaulGPiano

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#1990478 - 11/24/12 08:04 PM Re: advice on structuring practice in noisy enviroment [Re: UK Paul UK]
bluebilly Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 418
Loc: England
Originally Posted By: UK Paul UK
Hello fellow pw people.

Brief situation roundup:

Started self study ten years ago, had a teacher for a year (passed abrsm grade 1) and have spent the last nine years learning pieces with self study... on and off...
Have now got back into proper study with the purchase of a new digital piano and the availability of a couple of hours every night.
I'm now back with a teacher and have covered grade 2 and shes happy for me to be covering grade 3 and upwards for theory and practical study.
I'm in a situation where my new ca95 is situated at my partners grans house over the road.
Ive had issues with my dp and engineered a deal for a new kawai k3, i will be choosing from a selection this thursday. (Very much looking forward to it!)

I have been trying to adjust my practice habits to be more efficient and been looking at better structure to incorporate focus, mental play and more theory study.

Im finding it difficult with the gran having her tv on in the background when i practice but i have to accept this situation wont change and when i get my acoustic then headphones wont be an option anyway...


Sooooo, long story but essentially... i'm thinking my time will be better spent away from the piano working on theory and mental play in a quiet room and then only getting on the piano when essential... rather than currently being constantly distracted by x factor or strictly come dancing or whatever else wonderful programs are on her tv....

Any advice on how best i can use my time? I'm dedicated to changing my practice habits for the better but obviously my piano time is somewhat distracted...

I have read much literature on mental play and study away from the piano to feel with the right focus i may be able to turn this situation to my advantage by developing strong mental play....

Any advice welcome.

Im not going to ask an 84 year old to keep the telly down or change programs as its her doing me the favour of having my piano at her place... i just need to find a good structure of development.

Regards Paul

You have my deepest sympathy, I installed my DP in a tiny room I use as a study to distance myself from the eternal TV. At the moment Saturday evenings begin with "Strictly", then "X Factor" followed by "I'm a Celebrity"....it makes one almost lose the will to live. I had to record the Rugby so I can watch it in the early hours of the morning.

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