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Topic Options
#2123669 - 07/27/13 05:05 AM Practice every day or not?
JanVan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/13
Posts: 51
I was wondering whether it is better to practice every day or to insert regular resting days away from the piano to let everything sink in and allow the brain and muscles to fully absorb what has been accomplished during thoughtful and concentrated practice the days before.

If resting days are truly beneficial to growth and progress, what would be a good practice schedule (e.g. 3 days of practice and 1 day of rest or 5 days of practice and 2 days of rest)?

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#2123677 - 07/27/13 05:42 AM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
You can probably get the resting day effect just as much by alternating the pieces you're working one as by skipping a day of practice. In support of skipping out a day though, one of our members here was forced by her parents to skip a day of practice each week for Sabbath observance when she was growing up and thought the missed day actually did her a lot of good.
Personally, I feel kind of naked if I haven't practiced at least some each day.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#2123793 - 07/27/13 12:37 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18292
Loc: Victoria, BC
I think that the answer to this question depends upon each individual's learning style. If you find that a day away from the piano at regular intervals is helpful, then do so. If you find that it makes little difference, then don't concern yourself about it.

I'm not sure that there is a definitive answer to this question, although one could collect anecdotal evidence from various musicians.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2123834 - 07/27/13 02:41 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
Brendan Online   content



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5331
Loc: McAllen, TX
Originally Posted By: JanVan
I was wondering whether it is better to practice every day or to insert regular resting days away from the piano to let everything sink in and allow the brain and muscles to fully absorb what has been accomplished during thoughtful and concentrated practice the days before.


Practice every day, and slowly for the majority of the time. The growth, development, and muscle rest you're talking about happens in the other 18-20 hours during the day when you're not practicing. Two days off puts you back to square one.
_________________________
http://www.BrendanKinsella.com

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#2123869 - 07/27/13 04:30 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
NStarr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/24/12
Posts: 4
Practice every day, but don't practice the same thing(s) every day.

Sometimes a forced day off has helped me tremendously, and sometimes it's set me back significantly. It's not reliable or consistent, and I think it's best to just aim to practice every day. Tedium can be very counterproductive, but fight it by practicing something else, or sightreading, or practicing your ear training, rather than simply walking away.

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#2123888 - 07/27/13 05:23 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
gwood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 92
Loc: plano,tx
i try to practice every day. 99% of the time i look forward to it but sometimes i take a few days off. in fact i have been known to burn out and take a few months off if my progress slows or i feel other kinds of pressure - i know that is a terrible thing to do. what helps the most is to not put pressure on myself. the moment i sign up for MYOD, i kind of start not enjoying playing. same with lessons. last time i signed up for lessons (about 2 years ago), i got so burnt out i didn't play for about 6 months. i know it sounds crazy; i guess i just dont like the forced commitment. when i do it on my own, i can enjoy practice for several hours a day easily and look forward to it. i guess i am doomed to a life of piano mediocrity. but i still love playing anyway.

gw

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#2123900 - 07/27/13 06:05 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: Brendan]
Opus_Maximus Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1500
Originally Posted By: Brendan
Originally Posted By: JanVan
I was wondering whether it is better to practice every day or to insert regular resting days away from the piano to let everything sink in and allow the brain and muscles to fully absorb what has been accomplished during thoughtful and concentrated practice the days before.


Practice every day, and slowly for the majority of the time. The growth, development, and muscle rest you're talking about happens in the other 18-20 hours during the day when you're not practicing. Two days off puts you back to square one.


How does a father, husband, and Uni professor as yourself manage 4-6 hours a day of practice?

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#2123918 - 07/27/13 06:53 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
Brendan Online   content



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5331
Loc: McAllen, TX
Summers are easy, we practice in shifts. During the year, it's first thing in the morning before everyone wakes up or last thing after everyone else has gone to bed (assuming we can't practice during the day at work).
_________________________
http://www.BrendanKinsella.com

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#2124049 - 07/28/13 12:49 AM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
DanS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 568
If possible, allow no day to pass without touching your piano -Busoni
_________________________
"Most pianists are poor musicians, they dissect music into bits-and-pieces, like a roast chicken" -Debussy

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#2124248 - 07/28/13 01:26 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4535
Loc: in the past
Every day, but once a year take some time off. Like a week or two.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2124291 - 07/28/13 03:34 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18292
Loc: Victoria, BC
I repeat what I said before that I don't think one size fits all. I certainly would not categorically state that everyone should practice every day. For example, I practice six days a week, 2-1/2 hours per day and skip Sundays.

By Monday morning, I'm somewhat refreshed and certainly eager to get back to the piano, and I don't find any perceptible loss in my skills/technique/performance abilities compared to what they were when I finished on Saturday.

Each should develop his/her own routine upon what seems to work best in each case and, while making suggestions, should, I think, avoid prescribing for others.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2124322 - 07/28/13 05:03 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
4 to 6 hours per day Monday through Saturday. Less on Sunday, maybe take the day off if there are no concerts or recordings pending. We have two rehearsal spaces on the property, so we don't have to fight about who does what when.

Joseph Hoffman: "If I don't practice today, I hear it. If I don't practice tomorrow as well, my wife hears it. If I don't practice the next day as well, EVERYBODY hears it!!"
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2124429 - 07/28/13 08:19 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: BruceD]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: BruceD
I repeat what I said before that I don't think one size fits all.


Yes, that is true.

Some people cannot be absorbed for hours, so they put in little ~20 minute breaks every hour. That's called 'pattern interruption' and it helps you recharge, as long as you don't do anything related during your break.

Depending on your repertoire and your personality type, you could try practicing parts of your repertoire on alternating days. That way, you get time to absorb and refresh yourself.

The point is, yes, your mind needs time to absorb the music, but whether you need a full 48 hours to do it depends on the person. For a lot of people, a night of sleep will do the trick.

We also have to be careful of burnout; no one ever talks about burnout but it happens when we push too hard and too soon.

You have to find your own practice style. Check out this article for help on finding your best practice style-- and loving practice.

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#2124495 - 07/28/13 10:43 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Every single day... early morning (which is why so many of my posts are made before the sun shows itself)and early evening... with the exception of vacations, which include three or four day weekend trips up north.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2124507 - 07/28/13 10:58 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
I don't like to take days off but unfortunately life gets in the way.....funny thing is I notice the missed time to be beneficial....maybe my brain has time to get new cells ready......can't get enough new cells.

rada

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#2124512 - 07/28/13 11:10 PM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6248
Loc: St. Louis area
Everyday is a good idea.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2124571 - 07/29/13 01:58 AM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: -Frycek]
Palmpirate Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/13
Posts: 230
Loc: B.C.Canada
Originally Posted By: Frycek
You can probably get the resting day effect just as much by alternating the pieces you're working one as by skipping a day of practice........

(That works for me too)

Personally, I feel kind of naked if I haven't practiced at least some each day.


The mind boggles...... but even if the practise goes badly as one of my teachers said when I complained about seemingly making no progress all week - nothing you do at the piano is ever wasted, there is always progress. That was very comforting to hear and I remind myself of that when I get frustrated. You learn a lot about yourself as well as playing piano!
_________________________

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#2124678 - 07/29/13 08:04 AM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1038
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
After a day or so I start to get those nasty piano withdrawal symptoms...
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#2124723 - 07/29/13 10:31 AM Re: Practice every day or not? [Re: JanVan]
Shaylee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/13
Posts: 38
I practise everyday, but take 2-3 days off in month or so... But dont practise same things everyday, some pieces need time to mature...
_________________________
"If you want to understand the music, you don't even need ears as much as heart"

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