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#995822 - 11/16/04 11:31 AM Optimal Practice Time
rnewcomb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 9
Loc: Denver
Greetings -
I am just in my 2nd week of learning the piano (teaching myself with internet course). I already have a fairly solid background of music theory and note recognition due to years of music courses in my youth. It is definately frustrating in seeing and knowing the notes/chords but not having the coordination to transfer it to my fingers!
Anyway what is a standard recommendation for practice time. I just read the book on practicing piano (very dry but informative) and I find I am not too far from the suggestions. I practice 2x per day for about 30-40 minutes each session. I spend about 10-15 minutes on scales and chord progressions, 10-15 minutes on learning a simple tune and 10-15 minutes just playing with my electronic keyboard.
I must admit I am having a great time and will probably not change my habits too much but it would be interesting for me to learn what a real teacher would suggest.

Thanks

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#995823 - 11/16/04 12:45 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
 Quote:
Originally posted by rnewcomb:
It is definately frustrating in seeing and knowing the notes/chords but not having the coordination to transfer it to my fingers!
[/b]
I'm a beginner too, one year so far. It may not be obvious at first that the main trick is to practice playing it correctly, which obviously means very slowly at first.... Much slower than seems reasonable... even slower than that... Maybe as slow as your metronome will go, in your second week. Pick one measure at a time to play many times, and get it right. Slow enough that your fingers and brain can in fact actually get it right, and can demonstrate getting it right, many times. Dont practice playing it wrong, no future in that. If you cant play it right, then the meaning is that the practice is too fast for you.

When you get the whole piece correct, keep playing it slow and correct. The entire whole idea of practice is to practice getting it right, many times right, instead of to just practice messing it up. The point is that it just becomes second nature to play it correctly. As you improve, this takes less and less time. Hang in there, it will come, sooner than you might imagine.

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#995824 - 11/16/04 12:55 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
[

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#995825 - 11/16/04 01:15 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
I play between 1.5 - 2 hours a day

I had to give up almost all television time (what a waste of life) and have never looked back!! ;-)

Rodney

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#995826 - 11/16/04 03:24 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
rnewcomb: welcome to the forum. It sounds like you are really on top of things. I didn't realize you could take lessons online. How does the instructor listen to you? Do you send them a MIDI or MP3 and then they evaluate you? I think if you are able to practice every day 1-1.5 hours you will progress very quickly. My only concern would be the development of bad habits as a result of no interaction with a teacher. IMHO...
Good luck and let us know how you progress.
Jon
_________________________
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

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#995827 - 11/16/04 06:00 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
rnewcomb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 9
Loc: Denver
Thanks for the feedback all. Yes, interaction and feedback on habits will surely slow things down for me with the online instruction as there is no human interface. I do go slow and learn each simple piece with HS and then HT and after 1st week I decided not to use the metronome (couldn't keep up at about 40 bpm). I guess aside from the cost of the course (hope you dont get what you paid for here) I like to be able to rewind the videos and watch the correct fingering as well as hear how the note(s) should be correctly played.
I would love to be able to tell friends and family I have been learning for 2 years but I hope this is a lifelong skill I will continue with and enjoy.

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#995828 - 11/17/04 11:04 AM Re: Optimal Practice Time
Frank R Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 569
Loc: Anaheim Hills, CA
I practice about 2 hours a day and 4+ on the weekends. OBSESSION!!!

Morning practice sticks the best for me. There are very few things that I like getting up early for. Piano is number two.
_________________________
Keep a song in your heart!

Frank
--------------------------
It's not who we are that holds us back, it's who we think we're not!

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#995829 - 11/17/04 12:08 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
 Quote:
Originally posted by Frank R:
There are very few things that I like getting up early for. Piano is number two. [/b]
Alright Frank, since you brought it up, what's the number one thing you like getting up early for? ;\)
_________________________
markb--The Count of Casio

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#995830 - 11/17/04 12:40 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
I was practicing 2 hours every morning.

until a week ago that is, when this little 5 pound poop machine came into my life:



\:\)
_________________________
"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

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#995831 - 11/17/04 06:47 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
Frank R Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 569
Loc: Anaheim Hills, CA
Mark,

Let's see...... I don't fish......don't golf......don't jog.......gosh, maybe it is number one!!!!


Hay Mound,

Cute little poop machine.
_________________________
Keep a song in your heart!

Frank
--------------------------
It's not who we are that holds us back, it's who we think we're not!

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#995832 - 11/17/04 11:28 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
AaronSF Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 732
Loc: San Francisco
I have a full-time job, and full-time relationship, so I'm able to set aside 1 hour a day to practice, which I do religiously. I would like to practice 2-3 hours a day, but it cannot be done right now, so I have to content myself with slower progress than I would like. Patience is a definite virtue in learning piano!
_________________________
Aaron

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#995833 - 11/18/04 04:45 AM Re: Optimal Practice Time
Kris10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 21
Loc: Ohio
My best sessions start with a warm up. I try to start out with scales. I then grab a sight reading book and play 3-4 pieces only one time each. Then I move on to an exercise book and finally a solo. I have two very small children and my practice sessions are generally spent answering "why" questions and hopping up to get drinks or fastening pants or rescueing the dog from three year hold hands or rescueing my wall from crayon, etc., etc. I sit at the piano as long as my children will allow which is anywhere from two minutes to 1/2 hour at any one time. Sometimes I think a keyboard would not be a bad idea because then I could put on headphones and play when the kids are in bed. But that's not going to happen.

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#995834 - 11/18/04 05:21 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
Kris,

I have three kids, so I can only get some decent practice time in after they go to sleep and before they get up. At night, I play the piano, which doesn't seem to disturb them. In the morning, I play my keyboard so as not to wake up my wife. Even if I played the piano in the morning, that wouldn't wake up the kids. If it did, that would be more pleasant than the way I usually have to get them up.
_________________________
markb--The Count of Casio

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#995835 - 11/22/04 05:48 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
All day, everyday until I fall off the bench if I could get away with it. But that wouldn't be very fair to my job, my nine animals and my hubbie. Maybe the novelty of the new piano will wear off a little in a few months! \:D
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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#995836 - 11/22/04 06:18 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
markb Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 2593
Loc: Maryland
 Quote:
Originally posted by teachum:
All day, everyday until I fall off the bench if I could get away with it. But that wouldn't be very fair to my job, my nine animals and my hubbie. [/b]
So your priorities are in that order--piano (ideally), job, animals, and husband? ;\)
_________________________
markb--The Count of Casio

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#995837 - 11/22/04 07:15 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
No - but that's kind of the order in which they demand my attention I guess!
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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#995838 - 11/25/04 10:34 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
Vintagefingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 331
Loc: SE
I started out practicing 2-3 hours a day. Now it is 1.5-2 hours. At least one hour in the morning and a few half hour sessions in the evening, time permitting. Saturday morning about 3 hours and Sunday 2 hours.

I was so impatient to learn in the beginning (about 11 months now) but this has worn off since the piano I currently have isn't satisfactory and actually has become an annoyance. The action is not very responsive on repetitive fingering with little sustain. Like one of those toys that ping. I expect when the rebuilt Chickering is complete, I will be back up to 2-3 hours daily if I have to get up an hour earlier to realize it.

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#995839 - 11/25/04 10:53 PM Re: Optimal Practice Time
Jac Ang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 27
Loc: Singapore
After seeing most of you guys doing well with your time for practising.I really feel bad.I am only at Grade 2,preparing myself for theory on next March and don't have much time for practice.
Think i should pull up a bit for the exam pieces.

Sometimes life is tough and always run out of time....Have to work full time,study a degree in part time and taking piano....

I must stretch to the FULLEST!!!!

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