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#2200533 - 12/20/13 03:28 AM How long do you study one piece before moving on?
piano_primo_1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 292
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA
-For a classical piece?
-Easy or difficult ….Or any other type ….
Yet, I have studied my favorite songs many weeks……and more.

I like to NOT stay on one song too long (over a week or 2 )


I started “Morning Prayer” by Tchaikovsky (about 26 measures) and I have given myself a week to learn the score and a week to get it down well.

What is usual for someone who would be taking lessons? (I am not taking lessons)
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#2200536 - 12/20/13 03:46 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 984
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: pianonewbie1

I started “Morning Prayer” by Tchaikovsky (about 26 measures) and I have given myself a week to learn the score and a week to get it down well.


Well let me know if you can manage that! It took me a whole month to learn my Tchaikovsky piece (49 measures but lots of repetition), and I haven't gotten a good video at tempo yet!

It takes me anywhere from 1 week to a month to learn an easy 1-page piece decently, but then getting them performance-ready can take forever!

(I'm not taking lessons either, though)
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2200543 - 12/20/13 04:28 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
Ganddalf Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 636
Loc: Norway
Speaking of Tchaikovsky pieces I need much more time. I have spent about one month with "Meditation", and I probably got it at 80% level now. Unfortunately the 80:20-rule seems to apply to me, meaning that I learn 80% in 20% of the time needed to get it to the level with which I'm satisfied. Continuing at the same amount of weekly practice this means that I'm going to need another four months to get it good enough for recording.

The speed of progress depends on the amount of weekly practice. Unfortunately my family is not as interested in piano music as I am, and therefore I usually can practice no more than 5 hours a week. For a moderately difficult piece I typically need 1 - 3 months, and difficult pieces take at least a year. However I always study at least three pieces at a time.

I'm going away for the Christmas holidays now, and will not have access to a piano until January 5th. Then I probably have to "apply" for some more practice time in order to be able to have my three Tchaikovsky pieces ready by the deadline.

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#2200548 - 12/20/13 04:56 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
piano_primo_1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 292
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA
Is there value in moving forward, but paying attention to favorite scores or more intricate scores , say to , increase the skill and still continue progress with self study?
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#2200554 - 12/20/13 05:47 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 984
Loc: Italy
Indeed, I think it's no use spending several weeks or months on a piece unless you have to play it at a recital or e-cital. Not as beginners! The more music and the more varied music we see, the better. That's why I have several pieces going on at the same time and I also try to add quick studies/reading every time I can.

It's good to observe and notice all the defects but at this level there are so many tiny details that just can't be perfect, that being too much of a perfectionist will actually hinder one's progress.

Just my 2 cents.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2200564 - 12/20/13 08:35 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 807
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Probably months...pretty much everything I'm working on is long and planned for some kind of recital or e-cital. Sometimes I put it aside and come back to it. I'm working on a Beethoven sonata movement for a recital in January. At first my teacher shortened it for me to about 4 pages but now I'm wanting to do the scary pages (the ones with the fast 16th notes. We'll see what she says this morning. I've also started a Chopin nocturne (37 no 1) and work it about 4 measures at a time. I'm envious of those of you who pick them up in a couple of weeks of work. Sinophilia...the defects yell so loudly that it is hard to enjoy the music so I work to have fewer of them. That's a time consuming process. I must have missed the Tchaikovsky sign up.
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Love to learn

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#2200565 - 12/20/13 08:39 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: WiseBuff]
Ganddalf Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 636
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: WiseBuff
I must have missed the Tchaikovsky sign up.


There are plenty of untaken pieces left at all levels of difficulty.

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#2200579 - 12/20/13 09:10 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
SoundThumb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 340
Loc: San Diego, CA
How long? I take lessons and we spend 3-6 months on a piece before moving on. Before I had a teacher, I would never spend more than a few weeks on one piece.

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#2200580 - 12/20/13 09:11 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
hreichgott Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1010
Loc: western MA, USA
I don't regard pieces of music as disposable. Pretty much everything I learn, I come back to and play later. I guess the only exception is pieces I don't actually like... but there is so much music in the world that I avoid learning pieces I don't like. There isn't enough time to learn all the pieces I do like!

Anytime I am working on a basic technique issue, which is more or less constantly, I get out the Suzuki Book 1 pieces I played during my first year of piano study and work on the technique issue. The other day it was Twinkle Variation no. 2 to work on dropping arm weight with minimum tension possible while maintaining a strong curved finger, and Little Playmates and Allegro to work on a strong and rich non-clanging forte sound. I play Book 1 well, but it will never be in a state of perfection (nothing is) so further work is always useful.

New repertoire can take me anywhere from a few days to a couple of years to bring to performance level, depending on the difficulty. And then performance level one year won't be the same as performance level another year, so anytime I perform something it needs work ahead of time to bring it up to where I'm sort of happy with it.

My students also take anywhere from a few days to a couple of years to learn new pieces. I let them choose a handful of "old favorites" from their completed repertoire to keep in shape on an ongoing basis. With children I find that note-learning speed has more to do with how much they welcome new information and new situations, not so much with musical ability. The ones who are slower to progress through pieces tend to be faster at learning to play musically, precisely because of the slow rate of note-learning, I think. Except for the ones who move slowly because they don't work hard, but that is a separate issue wink With adult students, sometimes they become overly focused on note-learning and do not pay attention to the musical aspects of playing, so I have to slow them down enough to make music.
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Sounding the depths of small pieces: Beethoven Op. 33
Daily attempts at 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 4, Pischna
Totally loving Fauré/Barcarolles and Ravel/Tombeau de Couperin
I love Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

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#2200591 - 12/20/13 09:33 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2372
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
There are two things to consider. First is the exposure to new aspects of technique and the other is the ability to overcome those challenges to the point where you can play that piece EXACTLY how you want it, to express yourself through it, oblivious to the technicalities.

If you're content to play the piano well mechanically then move on as soon as you're up to or close to tempo without too many wrong notes. If the music is more important then you need to hang on to a few pieces that you can use to express yourself through them, pieces that move you and need you to take your technical ability beyond the requirements of that piece, where every note needs to be expressed just so. For some this is the true meaning of technique and no amount of Hanon or Czerny will ever reach that deep inside us and so can never test our real technical ability.

There are a few of us here that are about to take on the Chopin Ballade in G minor. Precious few players worldwide will ever be able to reach the heights needed with that piece to be able to express the music in it though it does give us the motivation to try and it's worth it for that alone. It's important, though, that at least some of your material is easy enough and maintained long enough and well enough that you are able to take it to the very highest level in your performance of it.

In this regard it is more likely that a piece of sufficient intellectual, emotional and spiritual content is unlikely to be learnt in a fortnight. I think it was Moriz Rosenthal who claimed that even in his seventies he was still finding new nuances in Chopin's Prelude in A.
____________________________

I study each piece until it's memorised and playable in its entirety before moving on but that doesn't mean I drop it.

I learnt Morning Prayer at the same time as Schumann's Erster Verlust and three other pieces. The other three took much longer to learn and are in different groups. I spent two weeks on MP and EV four weeks apart. Both pieces went to weekend security work for the last six weeks of that quarter, one weekend each quarter for the next two quarters and a full week in revision at the end of that year. I would say I wasn't ready to perform them until about a year later. They were both well below my normal level but I still play them both today.

Most of my pieces are studied for one week in four unless I'm planning them for a recital when it goes up to about three weeks in four and every week nearer recording time. I work in isolated sections even for easy pieces and once a section is memorised it gets put onto the pile for weekend security work (two or three plays through each on Sat and Sun) until all the sections are done and I can start putting them together. I play it every weekend while it's new, one weekend a quarter otherwise and a week of revision once a year if it needs it.

I learn new stuff Mon-Fri for twelve weeks every quarter and take a week away from the piano twice a year. The other two weeks are for working over difficult repertoire. I'm one of those that thrive on routine.

I will never stop trying to improve Für Elise, Morning Prayer or Erster Verlust.
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#2200601 - 12/20/13 10:21 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
UKIkarus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/13
Posts: 296
Loc: England, South East
It varies person to person and piece by piece... for me some can take little time others can take months, I never really pay much attention to the time required/taken as long as I am enjoying it or want to learn it.
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Yamaha MOX8 Synthesizer


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#2200644 - 12/20/13 12:08 PM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3538
Depends on the piece. Typically a few months for the hard pieces. One of the pieces I work on now I worked on for over 6 months now. Most of the time goes into memorizing the stuff so well that I can recall it at required speed. Technique usually is not the main problem even though there always are things to improve.
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#2200683 - 12/20/13 02:23 PM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
A Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 257
Loc: St Louis
For competitions, I usually spend 9-12 months on the pieces. For pieces I play for fun, no more than a month usually
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Pieces:
Soler sonata r.48
Soler sonata r.78
Haydn Hob XVI 50 movement 1
Chopin Ballade 3
Liszt Hungarian rhapsody 8
York Bowen toccata

www.youtube.com/channel/UCKqmkVdn_41vKvDG-ELy0bg

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#2200773 - 12/21/13 01:36 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
piano_primo_1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 292
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
The more music and the more varied music we see, the better.

This is why I move on , but I wonder if I keeping what I learn that is difficult.
Originally Posted By: hreichgott

My students also take anywhere from a few days to a couple of years to learn new pieces. I let them choose a handful of "old favorites" from their completed repertoire to keep in shape on an ongoing basis.

Originally Posted By: wouter79

Depends on the piece. Typically a few months for the hard pieces.


From reading these, I think I am going to “take on” some harder pieces. And , continue with easier stuff that I prefer to learn in a smaller time period at the same time

At least I won’t feel like I missing out on other music. (when I go by the book of piano practice, ) but when I don’t use practice books I feel like I am not learning piano like I should .
So I ‘ll do in stride .(use practice books)


Originally Posted By: WiseBuff

I'm envious of those of you who pick them up in a couple of weeks of work.


Please don’t be, because I am doubtful as to how well I can play pieces that I learn in a week or 2. Like I wrote, I spend many weeks( if not longer )on music I like that may be less difficult to play.
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#2200797 - 12/21/13 03:05 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
Jessiebear Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/13
Posts: 172
Loc: New Zealand
I usually take two weeks to learn a piece to an 'ok' standard, a couple I've picked up in a day. But to be REALLY happy with it I would keep at it for a month or two at least.

Some I memorize easily because I love them and they stick in my brain almost on their own. Others I will always need the score for, or I 'drop' as soon as I'm happy with them because I've lost interest.
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Inspired by Einaudi and Tiersen.

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#2200816 - 12/21/13 04:28 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: Jessiebear]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
It depends on the difficulty of the piece and why I was learning it. If it is an exam piece I learn it up to exam standard for however long it takes so I pass the exam. If it is not an exam piece then I play it for fun and dont worry too much about dynamics etc

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#2203333 - 12/26/13 09:41 PM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
Ivory Ticklynn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/21/13
Posts: 18
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin
I enjoyed the varied responses. I like to play it until I get it perfect at least once, even if it is not always perfect. It seems to be about 3 weeks now that I am on pieces that are harder (about the level of the end of the first Alfred book is what I consider harder.)
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I'm no Liberace, but I do live about a mile from the bar where he used to ride the bus to and play.

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#2203396 - 12/27/13 12:32 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4236
Loc: Arizona.
1st day = can't get enough of it. Every new section learned is a new musical discovery that you can now play. I play the main melody over and over.

1st week = still love the piece because it is coming together as a complete whole. I can 'play' it.

1st month = now I'm at my maximum potential with the piece. I love it even more because now I am 'performing' it, not just playing it.

That's it. After numerous 'performances' of the piece I leave it.
Especially if there is a hint of getting sick of it. I want to build upon what I have accomplished in the previous piece and to do that I want to leave the previous piece on a high note. It doesn't have to be the highest note, but still high. I don't ever want to play a piece I'm sick of and I certainly could not perform it if I was.

It's great fun however to not just revisit the piece at a later date but to create an entire new version of it.

That's what pops my cork anyway!

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#2203410 - 12/27/13 02:11 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: Mr Super-Hunky]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3614
Loc: Northern England.
I`ve been labouring on the Tchaikovsky piece for too bloody long. . .simplified it, simplified it again, chopped a page out.

My head`s gone red,
Can`t sleep in bed
Time to ditch the bitch? mad smokin


Edited by peterws (12/27/13 02:12 AM)
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes — but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

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#2203462 - 12/27/13 07:28 AM Re: How long do you study one piece before moving on? [Re: piano_primo_1]
piano_primo_1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 292
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA
I started on Moon River, which I learned a couple years ago, and although this version is brief (1 page) it is a little more difficult. I’m taking on Claire De lune. Which I am giving myself maybe a few months to learn (maybe more) , and couple it with easy and review scores during that time .
I think for my own benefit I am going to record my stints of progress, just on my own blog .
Maybe not here.
Seriously, my budgies tend to sorta whine chirp when I practice it in the morning. LOL


PS: Ever notice how many famous classics are about the Moon? I uisually tend to like them a lot too.
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