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#938650 - 09/25/07 04:52 PM Teacher practice times & habits
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7344
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Chopin Today's recent post brings to mind the issue of our practice habits. Teachers, do you practice daily? If so, for how long? Even if you cannot practice daily, how much time do you spend at the piano through the week and how much of that is focused practice?

Are you practicing as much as you would like or do you feel deprived perhaps due to demands of teaching or home making, children, spouse, etc.?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#938651 - 09/25/07 05:04 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
pianoexcellence Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
I like to practice for up to 2 hours in the morning. It is definitely enough for me. I am hyper organized with my practicing, and it is important for me to "guinea-pig" myself with any strategies that i may want to try on my students.

I have 2.5 hours in the morning that is sacred. My poor wife has been trained to leave me completely alone during the hours of 7-9:30. This is where I read and take notes from various books (Abby whiteside, Gyorgy Sandor, business books, etc.) and get to the piano later on

I think that teaching is the perfect job to have if you want to practice.

Good topic John!!
_________________________
Music is the surest path to excellence

Jeremy BA, ARCT, RMT
Pianoexcellence Tuning and Repairs

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#938652 - 09/25/07 07:09 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I can very easily get distracted from my own practice with all the different things I do in addition to teaching piano, unfortunately. What keeps me going, actually, is that I have piano lessons myself every two weeks to keep me honest ;\) . Some days I just know I can't get practice in, and I let them go. Other times, I can squeeze in 10 minutes here and there, but ideally I can have a good hour or two set aside for it. I'm like pianoexcellence in that I have specific things in mind that I wish to accomplish (but I'm not as disciplined as to write them down \:\) ). But doing so, I can work on specific measures that give me a hard time in thsoe little spurts, and do more thorough practice in the longer times.

Also setting some goals helps me. Since I take lessons from a fellow MTNA member, I participate on auditions as an adult student just to have a goal. I also participate in a recital at the end of May. Nothing makes you get your practice in like a deadline! \:\)
_________________________
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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#938653 - 09/26/07 12:23 AM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1166
Loc: Singapore
I practise at least 4-5 hrs min per day even on days when i'm busy. Still taking lessons myself.
_________________________
Currently working on:J.S Bach Prelude&Fugue in C major from bk 1,Chopin Etude op.10 no.12,Impromptus nos.1&4 and Mendelssohn Song without words op.67

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#938654 - 09/26/07 04:39 AM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
pianoexcellence Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 753
Loc: Abbotsford, BC, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Amelialw:
I practise at least 4-5 hrs min per day even on days when i'm busy. Still taking lessons myself. [/b]
I still take lessons too, but not towards any credential.
_________________________
Music is the surest path to excellence

Jeremy BA, ARCT, RMT
Pianoexcellence Tuning and Repairs

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#938655 - 09/26/07 04:51 AM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
I can only practice Saturday afternoons when nobody wants lessons. I work all day long during the week (public school and private lessons). I'm definitely deprived of practice time.

When I do get the time on Saturday, I practice 3-4 hours, mostly on stuff my students are playing. I get a lot more time during winter/summer breaks to play my own stuff.

Ideally, I'd practice 3-4 hours daily. But then my bank account will be zero and I'll be homeless.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#938656 - 09/26/07 05:31 AM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5919
Loc: Down Under
It varies wildly for me. I do more accompanying than teaching, and sometimes I'm practising 3 hours a day trying to get some repertoire under my fingers for a short-notice engagement. What often suffers is my own solo repertoire, but I do keep quite a few things on the back burner, and practise when I can. I try to sightread most days - just play my way through things like Wolf songs or Beethoven violin sonatas, and I do a bit of work on repertoire my more advanced students are learning. Actually, I'm often doing so much playing i don't get time to practise \:\)
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#938657 - 09/26/07 01:23 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
I hardly get any time to practice. Days start at either 1:00 or 3:00 for me, and on Tuesdays through Thursdays I go straight until 9:00. In the mornings I try to eat a decent breakfast and then I head for the gym for an hour. When I get back from the gym practice is the last thing on my mind. More likely, it's food.

Then I have to clean up and go to work, or run errands, and THEN go to work. Sundays are my one day off and between errands and trying to relax, go to family functions, etc. practice sessions are few and far between.

I know I have to squeeze at least 3 hours of practice in somewhere, every day, because I'm preparing for graduate school auditions now and I'll be taking lessons again. It'll be nice to have alone time with the piano again.
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

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#938658 - 09/26/07 01:52 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
For Minaku and those of us who do suffer from lack of time:

Do you ever feel like you're letting your students down? I find that because I dont' get to practice every day, I am very forgiving of my students who also may not find time to practice. But in the ohter respect, I use it to help make that a priority for my students.

For those who don't have enough time, I suggest that even 10 minutes is better than no minutes! \:\)
_________________________
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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#938659 - 09/26/07 02:23 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
kissyana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 199
Loc: Northeast Illinois
I work over 50 hours a week. Sometimes I get to at least play when a student doesn't show up. On weekends, I get a little more practice in if I'm not completely drained from doing all the things I don't get to do during the week (cleaning, laundry, bank, groceries, etc etc).

I just bought a ticket for the mega millions. Its only 12 million (so really like 5 million in actual prize money) but that might help me get more practice time. Sometimes I feel as though I'm wasting my youth...

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#938660 - 09/26/07 02:36 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
Well, Morodiene, most of my students are beginners, so there isn't any practice involved with their music. The adult students I have, or the more advanced ones I have, all are playing rep that I myself have studied in the past. If not, then I've definitely played it enough to know where the trouble spots are.

I do have times in the day (like right now, heh) when I have a bit of time to myself. At this time normally I'd go to the gym but I'm actually headed out to PianoWorks to buy a pedal extender... Hopefully, it won't be too expensive.

On Thursdays and Fridays I have a bit more free time to do what I want, thankfully. That does involve practice when I can squeeze it in. As for the 10 minutes of practice, it's like the tip of the iceberg. I find that if I only get 10 minutes then I start getting cranky about the lack of time I have for myself to practice. That's no good for my students! Ha.
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

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#938661 - 09/26/07 04:49 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Wish I had a dollar for every time I heard, "GET OFF THE PIANO"!

Do spend a considerable amount of time playing, because with the style of music I teach, there's always more and more great music to get and learn. Started to have a cleaning lady come in once a week. This may sound a little extravagant but this keeps me sane and gives me more time to dedicate to other things. Mostly having a life!

I'd say I spend 2 hours in the morning (after 1 hour of exercise). The afternoon is dedicated to domestic things like errands and supper. Start teaching at 3:45 usually to 8:30ish straight thru! Yes, with no breaks! Then usually will spend another hour or so after students because my daughter is out of the house! We fight over the piano all the time! \:D
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#938662 - 09/27/07 01:21 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
kissyana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 199
Loc: Northeast Illinois
I start lessons again tomorrow! \:\) Happy! I will probably have to start waking up at 5-something in the morning to get in a little practice before I'm off to my day job... whatever it takes!

I can't imagine trying to squeeze in practice time while working full time AND having children so kudos to all of you parents out there who still manage to get in some time with the piano.

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#938663 - 09/27/07 02:33 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: UK.
I don't have a regular practice routine. I manage to squeeze in some time on and off, usually when students don't turn up or on days which are not so heavy. I do love to practice and can spend hours lost in whatever I am playing. I find it very relaxing and good therapy to combat stress. I wouldn't take lessons anymore as I can't make the commitment to practice enough. It wouldn't be fair on a teacher. Besides, I have done the lessons thing for too many years in the past. I am not that tolerant of students who don't practice. If you are taking lessons then you should make the time.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#938664 - 09/27/07 03:26 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Just a comment for those who don't have enough time to practice, and this comment also reflects on myself at times. If you don't have time to practice at all in a given day, then that means that everything else you did have time for that day was more important to you than practicing piano. If that is not the case, then perhaps something needs to change so that the important things get done first.

For me, I took a long look at my schedule over the past few years and made some decisions. I've been trying to reorganize my life so that I do have time for the important things for the past couple of years now. I decided to focus most of my energy on teaching privately, but to continue the little voice classes and Kindermusik because the prep time needed for these is only a lot at the beginning of each semester, then it tapers off. I quit my church job, as that was very time consuming and I found myself practicing music that wasn't fulfilling me like classical music does (it was mostly contemporary Christian, not the hymns which I love). I decided to quit a local choir I was in so that I could focus a bit more on perfecting my vocal technique. It feels like I was practically saying "no" to everything! But now that the semester has gotten started and things are falling into routine, I find I have plenty of time to practice and prepare for my students lessons without feeling like I'm always running. I will probably add more things as time goes on, but sometimes paring it down to just the most important things in your life is the best place to start. \:\)
_________________________
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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#938665 - 09/27/07 04:05 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1264
Loc: California
My schedule doesn't allow me a regular practice routine but I am at the piano every day for my own enjoyment. I might be working on Beethoven or Chopin, but more likely than not I'm improvising or composing. I would love to take some lessons myself (it would make me have to practice), but having three active teens at home (one is my niece from Germany, spending the school year with us), teaching 2 mornings/4 afternoons each week, and holding a few varied positions in my music teachers' group (both at the local and state level), I just can't add another thing.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#938666 - 09/27/07 04:18 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
Morodiene -

My day is consumed with teaching. I teach 5 or more hours every day except Sunday, when I need a break. I still want to get practice in, but between teaching, prepping, eating, getting errands done, etc. I can't prioritize my own practice. Not to mention, I can't wake up early or practice late because I live in an apartment, and the unspoken rules are no piano before 9 am and after 10 pm.

Which is why I'm getting a teacher very soon, and will be forced to practice.
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

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#938667 - 09/27/07 04:22 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Lessons are very motivating for me! I hope that helps you in your practicing as well. When you know someone is expecting to hear you, you are more likely to practice than if you just rely on your self-motivation \:\)
_________________________
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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#938668 - 09/27/07 04:34 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Wouldn't it be great to get to a luxurious, expansive time frame during which you did nothing but play your piano, be the musician you are, absolutely unhurried, with your attention on your innermost self and your music! The peace of a quiet musical mind in an investment to your well-being. Perhaps even blissful!

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#938669 - 09/27/07 08:19 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
jazzyclassical Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 154
Loc: California
I practice at least one hour a day. This includes adding to my repertoire, sightreading practice...and beginning jazz practice.

Then I spend however much longer I have to compose. Sometimes staying up late to write songs...

The reason why I practice my classical and jazz before I compose is because it's much easier to write when you are a bit tired than to practice when you are tired! Anyhow, that's my routine.

Also, I work from 8-3 as a receptionist, teach on tues and thurs, and have a band. So I'm pretty busy! Sometimes I don't compose because I'm too tired, but I always try to practice for that hour because I want to keep my chops up.

I can't wait until January when I begin teaching full-time again!!

Oh yeah, I also take a weekly lesson from a reputable advanced classical teacher. He's awesome and it keeps me motivated. \:\)
_________________________
Kawai acoustic piano
Casio PX-350

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#938670 - 09/28/07 03:41 AM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13773
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Probably 1-3 hours a day, depending of course on how busy I am. A little more lately since I'm playing two concerts next week.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#938671 - 09/28/07 10:40 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
mjelle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 38
Loc: OH
Just started taking lessons again myself, and my two kids are taking from my teacher also. This means finding time for myself to practice and them too. I teach 3 days a week, and of course every other bit of time seems to be taken up with my housewife and motherly duties. I am really trying to sit down and get and hour in everyday, but its just not always possible. I feel pretty good, I went from no practice, to at least a few days a week of practice, so that is good. I needed a teacher so I have someone to answer to if I dont' practice!

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#938672 - 09/29/07 10:45 PM Re: Teacher practice times & habits
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Mjelle: Good for you! And remember, that an hour can be split up into 4 15-minute sessions that are just as effective (and in some cases even mroe effective) as (1) hour stint. I seem to have a hard time remembering when I practiced, so I think I'm going to write down my times to get a better assessment of what I'm doing with my time. A comment from Betty in another thread that sticks in my mind: "Sit down at the piano for 30 minutes. If you choose to practice..." rings true to me. If I would commit to sitting down at the piano, I think that's most of the battle.
_________________________
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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