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#2105028 - 06/19/13 07:47 PM Two or Three day Practice Break
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1228
I've posted this question on the Teachers Forum, slightly different Subject line and a little different.

My teacher will be away for a few weeks. Today's practice was a lost cause. I went over some new material and fiddled around for a while and thought that maybe a day or two away from practice would help.

Has anyone felt this way? It won't be long before my piano will say "play me", guess we all need a little time away.

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#2105034 - 06/19/13 08:02 PM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014

Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1393
Loc: Cameron Park, California
re-posted from the aforementioned Teacher's Forum

Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
Sometimes if you've been at it really hard, then I don't think a break of a day would kill you, but if you want to break for any longer, then I suggest re-evaluating why you spend time at the piano practicing. As an adult beginner, I've had many struggles with this, but through this website and various other sources, I've come to look at practicing as not "hard" or "a hassle" (I hate when given something to practice you don't like, your teacher says "the sooner you finish it, the sooner you can move on;" this is horrible advice) because whether you realize it or not, how you think of practicing - and thus your success with it or lack thereof - affects how effective your practicing will actually be. Pianist and pedagogue Seymour Bernstein devoted an entire book to effective practicing based on this idea (he even went on to argue that how you practice can positively or negatively affect all other aspects of your life as well, with which I agree). You need to look at practicing as a process that you enjoy if for no other reason than because you enjoy being at the piano and the results that manifest from said time spent practicing. Now mind you, I'm not saying that you should practice (and enjoy it) whether you're getting results or not, as I expect such patience of no one, but instead that you should practice always with specific goals in mind and a crystal clear understanding of how to reach said goals as there's no greater motivation than achieving what you want. If your current teacher can't convey this knowledge, then you may wish to re-think what you pay them for.

See the current on-going thread here for some more possible advice: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2104593.html#Post2104593

You seem to reflect even more in your thoughts expressed in those post that negative practice (not achieving the results you'd like) is outwardly affecting you. You should consider looking into purchasing the Seymour Bernstein's With Your Own Two Hands: Self-Discovery Through Music that I mentioned - I think it could really help (though a teacher that shows you hands-on how to best practice to achieve results would be the best solution).
"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."

#2105042 - 06/19/13 08:18 PM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
We all need to recharge our batteries.

#2105044 - 06/19/13 08:24 PM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1228
adultpianist - thanks.

#2105121 - 06/19/13 10:46 PM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]
carolyn227 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 107
I've actually found that sometimes a few days off can be helpful, but time off from practice should happen very rarely. I discovered this after my daughter (a violinist) injured her wrist on her bicycle. She couldn't play at all for about 3 days, and when she was able to resume practicing, she had some major breakthroughs. So while I wouldn't advise it to happen all the time, the occasional (3-4 times per year) break can be helpful.

Edited by carolyn227 (06/19/13 10:46 PM)
Pianist and mom to three awesome kids (and budding musicians).

#2105252 - 06/20/13 08:48 AM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 477
I only do it if I feel that my mind is totally blocked and every piece I am trying just is a mess.
It happened to me just once in recent memory so I switched to just to exercises instead of playing piano and did small sessions that day to keep my mind fresh. That seemed to work.
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

#2105266 - 06/20/13 09:44 AM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2496
Loc: Virginia, USA
In general I just can't not practice. There are a couple of days when I'm at home and don't (Christmas & Thanksgiving) but, instead, I just play through Christmas tunes smile

A break isn't the end of the world but I'm actually concerned that you aren't thinking you need to try to tackle what went wrong in the practice session that makes you want to not practice for a while.

Edited by Andy Platt (06/20/13 12:07 PM)
Edit Reason: Minor edit
  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3

#2105316 - 06/20/13 11:57 AM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
I don't think its a problem at all. I find if I take a few days off here and there I don't really lose anything and often do better. Sometimes you just need a break-let things sink in.
If fact as I am typing this I just thought, I type all week but never on the weekends come Monday morning I can still type-lol. I know, it's not the same.
“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

#2105440 - 06/20/13 05:12 PM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1228
Thanks everyone, I'm beginning to hear the piano call "play me", just think I needed a short break - it's the first one in a very loooooong time.

It's good to know that I have company.


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