QUOTE(katica @ Apr 21 2012, 12:55 AM)
But more realistically, I need to work out a more efficient practice routine and be as disciplined as I can about it (not easy, due to said interferences). What do you folks do? When you're busy, what does your average practice look like? How much time to you spend on what?
I don't practise on the two days I teach, although I do play in a windband in the evening of one of these days so there is really only one day a week when the oboe doesn't come out of its case.
On the days I'm not teaching, I usually practise for around an hour and a half. I start with long notes, scales of some sort and usually some sort of technical exercise often (but not always) out of Gillet's "20 minutes". All this can take anything between 15 and 30 minutes depending on what pieces I am playing.
When I move onto the pieces I start with the "difficult" bits, which very often involves playing a scale repeatedly or a finger exercise or a tonguing exercise (which is why my non-specific warm up may be shorter). I have strict instructions from my teacher not to limit my practice to the "difficult bits" and to play through the whole piece (or in the case of Morceau de Salon a whole section) at least once in every session to develop stamina.
I rarely practise orchestra pieces at home, unless I have a particularly exposed solo.
Like you, however, I am feeling that I have rather lost direction at the moment for several reasons. For the last five weeks of the semester I was teaching three days a week not two, which meant that I had two days a week without practising. The other reason is that I feel my playing has changed over the past couple of months and I don't really know where I'm going. There are a whole host of things which I feel are "wrong" about my playing at the moment, and my usual practice routine doesn't seem to be helping with any of them. When I have brought them up with my teacher, he hasn't paid a great deal of attention to them because as far as he's concerned everything is "coming together" and he sees an overall improvement where I see a regression
After the holidays I want to spend some lesson time on how to practise so that I can stop feeling that I'm going about things aimlessly.
QUOTE(MrsB @ Apr 21 2012, 11:17 AM)
QUOTE(katica @ Apr 20 2012, 11:55 PM)
One lesson on the Marcello traumatised me a bit. Evidently it was in much, much worse shape than I thought it was, and I wasn't very sanguine about how it was sounding...
I can fully understand why you've been hesitant about learning it, Roseau, and you are years ahead of me. It's such a lovely concerto - I do so hope that playing it awfully - and being put through my teacher's harsh mill - don't take a lot of the joy out of it for me.
I thought it was good to pushyourself playing harder things? I've got a Marcello piece in my old music stash and I've had great fun attempting to play it despite it being beyond my ability. It's lovely and gives me great enjoyment playing it and hearing it improve (very gradually!) so it'd be a real shame if your teacher's comments took that away from you.
I think the whole "easy/hard" thing is complicated since so much depends on how you play them. With a "hard" piece (as in lots of notes/complicated rhythm) my teacher can be relatively tolerant, with an "easy" piece (one I can sight-read without a problem) he can be unbelievably critical and I often can't even get to the end of the first bar before he stops me. As I posted on here last year, for complicated reasons, I ended up taking an exam which my teacher had assured me was a long way below the level I am really playing it. In one of my lessons before the exam he was so critical of the "easy" exam piece that I ended up asking him if he really thought I was capable of passing it. He was somewhat taken aback by my question and then said "Let's get this clear, you would pass no problem playing it the way you play it now but I'm not going to waste a month's lessons so I'm teaching it to you at a completely different level"
I also think teaching methods in France are different to those in the UK and I suspect that Katica's experiences are probably similar to mine. Someone once told me about their experience of an English-French recorder course which for me sums up the differences between the two styles. The English recorder players were happy to sight-read through lots of new material; the French ones wanted to discuss exactly how they were going to play everything. After a couple of days the groups split up into French players and English players; the English players were frustrated by how long it took to get to the end of a piece and what a small number of pieces they were playing; the French accused the English of "bashing through" things without paying attention to detail and of wanting to play far too many different pieces.
I rarely work on more than one piece at a time, I can't remember the last time my teacher asked me to play a scale in a lesson and on the rare occasions when I have played a study this has been instead of a piece rather than alongside a piece.