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Not meeting piano practice goals


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#1 Piano Pupil

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 18:09

Hi,

My teacher has high standards. Rather than the approach I had with my old teacher, whereby I would do short warm up exercises (dozen a day), then move straight onto the one piece I would learn the week, now I have:

Hanon exercises and scales
Czerny exercises
Bach inventions
Clementi sonatinas
3 Grade 6 pieces (exam this summer)

Shes no doubt an amazing teacher, however, with so much going on, I feel that I'm never able to progress evenly on all books, and the week will dwindle by without much practice on any but 1 or 2. Does anyone else have experience on this - when what you would play for the lesson would be something you last played in last weeks lesson?!

I was wondering if anyone could share their practice schedules: how/what they practice and how much time they devote to each component (scales, technique books, pieces, etc)

Regards
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#2 Impressionist

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 18:31

It seems you've gone from one extreme to another. At grade 6 level I'd say your current schedule seems a little intense but conversely, to just work on Dozen a Day plus one piece was perhaps not quite challenging enough.

I'm working towards grade 8 in June and have some Hanon and Cortot exercises to work through (specific to technical issues I have), then scales, and working on the 3 pieces for the exam, plus sight reading (for the exam and fun!!) and the technical exercises for Trinity. I spend around 60-90 minutes (in 30 minute bursts) a day.

How long is your lesson and how much does your teacher cover in a lesson? I'd be surprised if you can get through all of that in a 30 minute lesson. I usually only manage to get through scales, technical exercises and working on one piece in detail in an hour.
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#3 Piano Pupil

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 18:40

QUOTE(Impressionist @ Apr 27 2012, 06:31 PM) View Post

It seems you've gone from one extreme to another. At grade 6 level I'd say your current schedule seems a little intense but conversely, to just work on Dozen a Day plus one piece was perhaps not quite challenging enough.

I'm working towards grade 8 in June and have some Hanon and Cortot exercises to work through (specific to technical issues I have), then scales, and working on the 3 pieces for the exam, plus sight reading (for the exam and fun!!) and the technical exercises for Trinity. I spend around 60-90 minutes (in 30 minute bursts) a day.

How long is your lesson and how much does your teacher cover in a lesson? I'd be surprised if you can get through all of that in a 30 minute lesson. I usually only manage to get through scales, technical exercises and working on one piece in detail in an hour.


I pay for an hour lesson, but it always over runs to about an hour and a half (sometimes more!)
We go through everything in detail, but before each lesson I just dont feel like I've done justice in my practice.

The problem is I think I bash away at the keys too much: just playing the pieces through again and again: not concentrated practice at all.
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#4 sbhoa

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 21:24

It sounds like you need to discuss this with your teacher.
That's a very heavy workload especially if you have a weekly lesson in which everything will be covered every time. It's possible to have high standards but through quality rather than quantity. To cover all that you'd need to be exceedingly dedicated with little else in your life but piano! Better to mention it before everything piles up and crashes..... I know, I've been there with a lesser workload than that.
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#5 corenfa

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 22:05

QUOTE(Piano Pupil @ Apr 27 2012, 07:09 PM) View Post

Hi,

My teacher has high standards. Rather than the approach I had with my old teacher, whereby I would do short warm up exercises (dozen a day), then move straight onto the one piece I would learn the week, now I have:

Hanon exercises and scales
Czerny exercises
Bach inventions
Clementi sonatinas
3 Grade 6 pieces (exam this summer)

Shes no doubt an amazing teacher, however, with so much going on, I feel that I'm never able to progress evenly on all books, and the week will dwindle by without much practice on any but 1 or 2. Does anyone else have experience on this - when what you would play for the lesson would be something you last played in last weeks lesson?!

I was wondering if anyone could share their practice schedules: how/what they practice and how much time they devote to each component (scales, technique books, pieces, etc)

Regards


I have a similar sort of schedule from my teacher. At the moment I am working on

scales and arpeggios
Marguerite Long exercises
1 Chopin Etude (Op. 10 No 3)
1 Bach French Suite (3rd)
The Pathetique Sonata in reverse order

I have a lesson every two weeks. I'm not expected to actually play every piece every week, but we will work on bits of each "as and when". However, I'm not taking any exams and my objective is to learn technique. So we seem to be playing whatever piece suits whatever technique I'm learning at the moment. I can't really say where I am other than "post grade 8" (but that grade 8 was decades ago).

If I am lucky I get to practise an hour every other day (day job and all that...). If I am even more lucky I get to practise 45 minutes every day.

That time gets spent roughly on (in order)

scales, arpeggios, exercises - 10 to 30 mins depending on how diligent I feel and how tired I am
whatever piece I am working on that week. It isn't really a different piece every week, rather a different one every 2 or 3 weeks.

It's not unusual for me to spend a whole week just on 16 bars of a piece. In fact this week, it was 16 bars of the left hand of 1 movement of a piece. It's also common for me to spend consecutive lessons on the same piece.

Looked at one way, I am progressing very slowly. At this rate, it will take months to learn the entire sonata. However, in another way I am progressing very quickly, because i feel that I am learning what I want to learn which is technique. I do not mind taking ages to "perfect" some minute detail or other because that's what I never had before this.

I appreciate that when one is doing grades it may feel different- however, I think that the way we are learning is not a bad one in and of itself. The main thing is- how do you feel you are getting on with lessons? Do *you* feel like you are progressing? Different students respond to different sorts of approaches.
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#6 silverfoxx

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 01:27

QUOTE(corenfa @ Apr 27 2012, 11:05 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Piano Pupil @ Apr 27 2012, 07:09 PM) View Post

Hi,

My teacher has high standards. Rather than the approach I had with my old teacher, whereby I would do short warm up exercises (dozen a day), then move straight onto the one piece I would learn the week, now I have:

Hanon exercises and scales
Czerny exercises
Bach inventions
Clementi sonatinas
3 Grade 6 pieces (exam this summer)

Shes no doubt an amazing teacher, however, with so much going on, I feel that I'm never able to progress evenly on all books, and the week will dwindle by without much practice on any but 1 or 2. Does anyone else have experience on this - when what you would play for the lesson would be something you last played in last weeks lesson?!

I was wondering if anyone could share their practice schedules: how/what they practice and how much time they devote to each component (scales, technique books, pieces, etc)

Regards


I have a similar sort of schedule from my teacher. At the moment I am working on

scales and arpeggios
Marguerite Long exercises
1 Chopin Etude (Op. 10 No 3)
1 Bach French Suite (3rd)
The Pathetique Sonata in reverse order

I have a lesson every two weeks. I'm not expected to actually play every piece every week, but we will work on bits of each "as and when". However, I'm not taking any exams and my objective is to learn technique. So we seem to be playing whatever piece suits whatever technique I'm learning at the moment. I can't really say where I am other than "post grade 8" (but that grade 8 was decades ago).

If I am lucky I get to practise an hour every other day (day job and all that...). If I am even more lucky I get to practise 45 minutes every day.

That time gets spent roughly on (in order)

scales, arpeggios, exercises - 10 to 30 mins depending on how diligent I feel and how tired I am
whatever piece I am working on that week. It isn't really a different piece every week, rather a different one every 2 or 3 weeks.

It's not unusual for me to spend a whole week just on 16 bars of a piece. In fact this week, it was 16 bars of the left hand of 1 movement of a piece. It's also common for me to spend consecutive lessons on the same piece.

Looked at one way, I am progressing very slowly. At this rate, it will take months to learn the entire sonata. However, in another way I am progressing very quickly, because i feel that I am learning what I want to learn which is technique. I do not mind taking ages to "perfect" some minute detail or other because that's what I never had before this.

I appreciate that when one is doing grades it may feel different- however, I think that the way we are learning is not a bad one in and of itself. The main thing is- how do you feel you are getting on with lessons? Do *you* feel like you are progressing? Different students respond to different sorts of approaches.


Wonder if your teacher is expecting you to practice everything in detail.

I think it more likely that your teacher expects you to practice everything in sketches during your practice sessions in the time between lessons.

Perhaps your practice schedule should be based upon a very basic run through of all selected sections of the material you have decided to practice in each session and practice only one piece in detail and a different sections of the material and detailed practice of a different piece during your next session.

This way your will be able to maintain a concentrated and measured approach which will most likely begin to show results very early on

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#7 sbhoa

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:07

Juggling several things is something I'm trying to learn to do better.
When you do have quite a lot on the go the way you practice needs to change.
To do things properly you can't really do everything every session and what corenfa describes is more realistic.
I'd also expect to work on one or two pieces in the lesson maybe sometimes led by what you've done and sometimes by what your teacher suggests you focus on for the next week.
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