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 Post subject: More practice questions
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:37 am
Posts: 16
Location: Cambridge, MA USA
For example:

1. How long do you practice? I've found that, as I'm getting a little more fluent at the keyboard, and thus liking it more, that at least 2 hours can go by before I notice. If I'm having a bad day, of course, I notice. Sometimes I wonder if my returns aren't diminishing after a certain point, however.

2. How many pieces do you have going at once? Up to now, I've had one polyphonic (i.e. Bach, Pachelbel), and one "homophonic?" chordal (i.e. Burgmuller, easy Haydn sonatas) going at the same time. More than that, and I can't remember what I'm working on.

3. Do you aim for perfection of a piece before you move on? My lute teacher, who seemed like an outstanding pedagogue, said that, especially in the beginning years, it was ok to move on from a piece before it was perfect, because after a couple of years of playing you're simply so much better that you'll play those old pieces perfectly with far less effort that you would have expended in the first place. I have definitely found this to be true in non-musical disciplines. Also, I've gone back to pieces I agonized over years ago (before I got serious about the piano), such as the Petzold minuet in G, and I can now, without having looked at it in the interim years, play it perfectly at sight (or at least aided by the memory I have of it).

4. Would you consider a piece "learned" if you can play it "perfectly" but not at the designated tempo? For example, I have almost all of the first invention "perfected" but my tempo, though it is adequate, and might even represent performance tempo for Glen Gould in one of his perverse moods, is nowhere near as fast as some of the recordings I've heard. Likewise with these little Burgmuller pieces. I have a few of them learned, at a tempo which sounds quite musical to me, but is nowhere near the quarter-note=152 indicated. Recordings I've heard at that tempo make it sound like Paganini.

Thanks for listening!

Jim Abraham


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 Post subject: Re: More practice questions
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:14 am
Posts: 17
1. Wow! 2 hours! My teacher said he practiced 2 hours a day when he was preparing for his finals! I tend to practices a lot for a few days. then when I get it right, I stop practicing. And I wont be prepared. I think that for practicing, consistency is the most important. The time it takes depends on what grade your in, how good you are, and how much stuff you have to play. I don't think you can practices twinkle for 2 hours a day without dieing! but the average time I think to practices a day would be 1 hour.

2. my teacher always has me going on 4 (3 peaces and 1 study.) he doesn't get to all of them in a lesson, so I have more time to practices on them.

3. If your going to perform, I would definitely aim for perfection :mrgreen: if you just wont to learn the peace for the fun of it, it doesn't have to be perfect. But if you learning it because you wont to get better at piano, I think its best to learn it perfectly. Get all the dynamics right and articulation. Though its true you will be able to play it later. I think you'll learn more and have a firmer foundation from which you can billed your skills.

4. It depends on what the peace is trying to teach you. If its a rely fast Chopin etude. The hard part is the speed, not the notes. So you would learn it just to get better at speed. But if your trying to learn dynamics, the speed is less important.

Hop I'm not off with all this! :D


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 Post subject: Re: More practice questions
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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Location: Netherlands
jcabraham wrote:
1. How long do you practice? I've found that, as I'm getting a little more fluent at the keyboard, and thus liking it more, that at least 2 hours can go by before I notice. If I'm having a bad day, of course, I notice. Sometimes I wonder if my returns aren't diminishing after a certain point, however.

I think you can overdo practising on one piece for hours a day for days one end. It's probably better to do something else in between. I'l like to know what concert pianists do if they are learning a (new) work for a concert.

jcabraham wrote:
2. How many pieces do you have going at once? Up to now, I've had one polyphonic (i.e. Bach, Pachelbel), and one "homophonic?" chordal (i.e. Burgmuller, easy Haydn sonatas) going at the same time. More than that, and I can't remember what I'm working on.

I always have dozens of pieces in the stew for recording in the near of non-so near future. Maybe that is not the right way and one should work on at most 2-4 pieces at a time.

jcabraham wrote:
3. Do you aim for perfection of a piece before you move on?.

You would not move on a lot if you did that 8)
Seems the better you get, the more you realize how far you still are removed from perfection. I find that frustrating. But ok, as long as it still gets better, there is hope. And it's better not to push too far.

jcabraham wrote:
My lute teacher, who seemed like an outstanding pedagogue, said that, especially in the beginning years, it was ok to move on from a piece before it was perfect, because after a couple of years of playing you're simply so much better that you'll play those old pieces perfectly with far less effort that you would have expended in the first place. I have definitely found this to be true in non-musical disciplines. Also, I've gone back to pieces I agonized over years ago (before I got serious about the piano), such as the Petzold minuet in G, and I can now, without having looked at it in the interim years, play it perfectly at sight (or at least aided by the memory I have of it).

Indeed, if you get back to a piece, after having had a reasonable grasp of it earlier, you seem to get a lot of things for free. Alone for that reason it pays to put a piece aside now and then, also to avoid it getting stale.

Interesting you play(ed) the lute. Such a noble instrument, I can't understand why it has gone out of fashion and nobody writes for it anymore. Or does anybody still ? The lute suites by Weiss and Dowland are exquisite.

jcabraham wrote:
4. Would you consider a piece "learned" if you can play it "perfectly" but not at the designated tempo?

Hell no ! That'w when the work starts.... But it is a very good basis, and it's better to do it that way than to favour tempo over accuracy. Now only if I could put my money where my mouth is :roll:

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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


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