Apr 28 2012, 11:33 AM
Hi to All
This is my first post so please be nice.I have recently passed my Grade 2 piano and am thoroughly enjoying learning,my problem is that i practice at least 2 hours a day, sometimes more, and up to 4/5 at the weekends.How do i fill the time in order to improve the fastest? currently i do scales,arpeggios etc. and i work on one piece a week from my study book that my teacher gives me, obviously this is only a short piece, maybe 1.5 minutes.Given my low level of ability is there anything else i could do to supplement my current work? hanon or czerny for example? I have the time,not sure of best way to use it and my teacher is on hols for a 2weeks so i can't ask him.
Apr 28 2012, 09:18 PM
Welcome to the forums!
Have you thought about sightreading some pieces? I don't know how long it is since you did grade 1, but if you could get hold of a book of grade 1 pieces you haven't seen (old ABRSM books often appear in sales) and have a go at them it would be very helpful in the long run. Sightreading is usually a grade or two below the one you're working on.
At grade 2-3 level, I think a "Dozen a Day" book would be more useful than Hanon, but I am not a teacher so stand to be corrected on this one!
Apr 29 2012, 09:38 AM
Grade 2 might seem like a low level of ability if you are comparing yourself to all the Grade 8 and beyond pianists on this forum, but you should not belittle your achievements. Compared to the great majority of the population it is a very advanced standard, and represents a lot of disciplined study and practice.
To be practicing 2 hours or more a day at this level is exceptional, and means you should progress rapidly.
As to how best to use your time, you should follow your teacher's guidance and if they are not giving you enough work to fill your time, insist on being given more. Perhaps they think you are a typical grade 2 student, practicing a half hour or so each day?
I don't think Hanon is especially useful at your level. Far better technical exercises are the easier etudes of Burgmuller, Heller, some Czerny, Cramer, Rowley etc. as they have musical value, as well as developing finger dexterity.
Some scales and arpeggios are always a good idea, but for real benefit they should always be played/practiced with some definite musical or technical purpose in mind, and not mindlessly bashed out.
Apr 29 2012, 10:40 AM
Hi, thanks for the replies.Firstly i forgot to mention that i do practice sight reading everyday, i try for at least half an hour,i only started it 2 months ago in the run up to my exam but i will continue everyday.I haven't seen any of the grade 1 pieces , i started piano a year ago and my teacher thought it would be better to start with the grade 2 exam as i'm fairly old (41)
VH2, thanks, i've just go a copy of burgmullers 25 etudes faciles op.100 in PDF, will print it out and get started after lunch.