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#1061440 - 09/26/08 07:24 PM How much do you practice?  
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Virginia Mom Offline
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Hello everyone. I have previously posted (just a few times) as vk922, but I changed my name. Easier.

I'm curious to know how much you usually practice? How many times per week and how often per practice. I haven't even found a teacher yet (they seem to one extreme or the other so far) so I bought the Alfred beginner book today. I was thinking I could do 15-20 minutes a day without a problem. One of the teachers I spoke with expects an hour a day, which seems like a lot.

Just wondering.


Valerie
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#1061441 - 09/26/08 07:37 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Hello there Valerie,

I'm still new @ this place and the Piano but the journey has begun. I've been lucky enough to find myself a great teacher who lives just down the road from me.

I've been practicing some days for 30m others for 2hrs. I've just finished Alfred's Book #1 (2.5mths) using this method so I am very happy with the progress. I've seen that some people here practice for 2-3hrs a day. Some days I can do this, others it's 30-50m at best.

For sure the more you practice the better you will be (of course) but I'd say that the more practice you can put in during the first 1-2yrs of this journey will benefit you greatly down the road.

Best of all enjoy, it's so much fun!


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#1061442 - 09/26/08 07:49 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Hello, Valerie! smile

I have been playing piano for about 12 years now (I started super young. I'm a teenager!), and practicing time usually varies for me. At one point, I was competing and I was hitting 2-3 hours a day. Then, because I'm a perfectionist, I ended up injuring myself and developing tendonitis in both my left and right hands and wrists.

Some people find it hard to sit for a while and just practice. For me, I enjoy it a lot, so some days I find myself practicing for more than an hour, other days when I have to balance school work and studying for tests plus piano and my other two instruments, it's about 30 minutes.

My one philosophy, is that even if you don't have time, try your HARDEST to practice, trying to touch the piano at least once. Going through all of your lessons at least once. That's the important part. Even 15-20 minutes is fine, I've done that on more than one occassion!

Enjoy yourself and practice as much as you can. Let your teacher know about your time restrictions and what you expect. and ESPECIALLY let them know that you are playing the piano for enjoyment, not a professional career! That's what gets some of them, expecting an hour when all you can give is half of that.

Good luck to you and post again soon! smile


"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." -Leonard Bernstein
#1061443 - 09/26/08 07:50 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I play everyday. How much? It depends mostly on my mood and other time constraints such as work or university. I have days when I have an urge to play, and can go for 3 - 4 hours. I have days where I practice around 30 minutes. Mostly I try to do a hour or two, in smaller chunks.

Another thing is how much of this time I am able to spend on very focused practice, and how much on playing for myself - that varies too laugh


M.


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#1061444 - 09/26/08 08:11 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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agraffe Online sad
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If you're starting out and aren't sure you can practice for an hour a day, I would say avoid those teachers that demand this. They will know what to listen for, and you will feel defeated.

I have limited concentrative capacity, so 20 min. is a good day; many days often pass with no practice. But I *want* to play, and so I do what I can and "that's OK." smile

#1061445 - 09/26/08 08:23 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I usually practice between 1 to 2 hours per day.

I think that the amount one 'should' practice really depends on a few things.

- How important it is to you
- How much time you can comfortably manage
- How long you can sit without getting physically uncomfortable (sort back, butt)
- Your family commitments
- Your work commitments
- Your leisure commitments
- How lazy or hard working you are
- How quickly you wish to progress (and the 'price' you are willing to pay for that progress)

I don't think there is any one 'right' answer. The answer, in your case, is unique to you.

#1061446 - 09/26/08 09:04 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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3-6 hours


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#1061447 - 09/26/08 09:53 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I used to practice basically every day, now I'm a university student and I only manage maybe 5-10 hours a week at most.


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#1061448 - 09/26/08 10:21 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I probably practice 5 days a week

45 mins maybe two days a week and 90 mins per day for another three days.

Mark

#1061449 - 09/27/08 05:23 AM Re: How much do you practice?  
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about two hours a day and more on the weekends (that s keyboard time, but i take a lot of breaks, i cant seem to sit at the piano for longer than 30 mins ... not sure how effective my practice time is

#1061450 - 09/27/08 07:40 AM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Virginia Mom Offline
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How do those of you who practice more than an hour a day manage that? Do you have families? I have 3 small children (and a husband + pets) and if I were to take hours of practice time not much else would get done around here.

Frycek said 3-6 hours! Holy cow! What else do you do?


Valerie
#1061451 - 09/27/08 08:27 AM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Hi Valerie, My children are now young adults but I remember when they were small. It is hard to find time for uninterrupted concentrated work, which we need for practicing music. My two sons were small when I set up my business as a translator as the sole wage earner and this had to be my priority. The kids and the work had to be first. I got a dishwasher, the floor was not vacuumed every day (gasp!) and sometimes things did not get picked up and put away right away. I created strategies of priorities and how to organize myself. I made lots of stews that simmered themselves into completion and could be reheated over several days. When you add a major thing in your life that will require your time and effort, you cannot always do everything you did before to the same degree.

In your case with three small children, 20 minutes of efficient practice time, where your full concentration goes on what you've been assigned, will give you a lot more than two hours while battling off distractions.

Your husband can be a partner helping you in this by taking some of your household responsibilities IF he can take your piano studies seriously. Family members don't always do so, and sometimes they even dislike the "intrusion" of hearing an instrument being practised. If you can get that support, and above all, take your new endeavour seriously as something important and worthwhile, that would be great.

Best of luck, and enjoy!

KS

#1061452 - 09/27/08 10:10 AM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Virginia Mom:

Frycek said 3-6 hours! Holy cow! What else do you do?
I work in anatomic pathology in a hospital laboratory full time. My only child is 24 and currently in charge of reptiles at a pet superstore. To put it succinctly, I have a job and a piano.


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#1061453 - 09/27/08 11:11 AM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Interesting thread. I generally practice/play at least 30 minutes on weekdays/workdays and maybe an hour or two (or longer) on the weekends.

Sometimes before I go to bed at night I’ll plunk out a tune or two. Sometimes when I’m on my way out the door in the mornings headed for work, I’ll stop and hit a quick tune to make my day go well.

Of course, with the kind of music I play, I don’t know if I practice or just noodle around; either way it’s a lot of fun. wink laugh

Take care,

Rickster


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#1061454 - 09/27/08 11:15 AM Re: How much do you practice?  
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HI Virginia mom,

I have 2 small children and one big kid (my husband), plus too many pets(cats, dog, horse), so my practice time is dependant on whats going on around me. Usually I try and get in 30mins a day but thats a hit and miss. And sometimes my 4 yr old comes and joins me during my practice so then my practice becomes a playtime thing. I have been playing since april( 5-months into this piano journey). I also try to take a lesson once a week for 1/2 hr. That helps keep me motivated. So I am very happy if I can get a good solid 1/2 hour or so in. But usually I think it averages out to 1/2 a day. Im also a part time librarian at my sons school but thats only like 4-6 hrs per week so I juggle that time too.

But I found that the more I practice the better and more confident I get. But I dont stress if I cant get to my piano everyday. Its a hobby smile not a job. And im not in a hurry. My family comes first. My piano teacher also understands that things can get crazy so she is very understanding if I have to re-schedule a lesson. And my husband is very supportive of my hobbies (piano, and my riding), He doesnt mind listening to me attempting to do my piano lessons over and over again. And im out in the country so I dont have neighbors that complain about the noise either. Its all good here!!!!

So thats what I do smile

AspenX laugh


Its been 7 years since ive played. But im back, and I have a teacher and im excited !!! and finally...a Baby Grand !!! Cheap & used, but I LOVE its sound smile
#1061455 - 09/27/08 12:25 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Va. Mom, I agree with many others here. it depends on how you want to progress, if you want to spend 20 mins a day and thats what you are happy with then go for it. if you want to progress faster then spend more time at the piano. i would definitly not pick a teacher that expects you to practice an hour everyday if that is not what you have in mind or have time for. I say if playing piano is what you want to do and 20 mins will keep ya happy--then go for it. its the love and enjoyment of playing:)


If it ain't fun I ain't doin' it:)
#1061456 - 09/27/08 07:16 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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After I put my kids on the school bus I usually do 2 hours and in the evenings about 1 hour Monday to Friday.

On the weekends I running around with the kids and hubby etc.


Therese

Good, better, best; never let it rest, 'till your good be better and your better - Best!
#1061457 - 09/28/08 03:35 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I practice between 1 to 2 hours every day.

Sometimes it's not easy because I work full time with a really weird schedule, but always manage to get at least 1 hour.

#1061458 - 09/28/08 04:48 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I don't have the time to play everyday, and on the days I do play I often don't get in much more than 20 minutes. If I play as much as an hour it's often in 20 minute slices. Like everyone here, I'm sure if I practiced/played more I'd get more proficient faster, but life is what it is. I enjoy the playing, and if I can't get a really great thing ready for one of our gigs, I cut my losses and play something less great very well. For me, that's the trick. I do what I can do, and I like doing it, and I forgo the regrets at not having time/energy/talent/whatever to be able to do it diferently. And I steadily have more abilities. What more could I want? smile

Cathy


Cathy
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#1061459 - 09/28/08 09:20 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I used to stick religiously to an hour a day, but I moved to 45 minutes about two months ago so I could add in some exercise a few days a week. I do it in three 15 minute segments early a.m., late afternoon, and after dinner. It is no hardship. I can work on something for three minutes while water is boiling, etc. You do what you can. I have three middle school kids, work about 30 hours a week, and do volunteer work. I have several time wasters I could eliminate and do a little more, but this balance is okay for now. I do see a reduction in my progress having moved to 45 minutes, but it's worth the trade off for me.

Nancy



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#1061460 - 09/30/08 12:52 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I have read/heard that 15 minutes a day everyday is better than say two hours in one day once a week (did that make sense).
I don't put a time limit on my practice because that makes me anxious. Rather, I sit down with a goal. Like, I will play through my scales/chords/arpeggios. Or, I will work on particular song. Before I know it I have been at the piano for hours. If I had set out to practice for hours I probably wouldn't do it. Also, some days if feel a little too hyper or my attention span is just not there. So, I will practice in spurts. Scales for about 15 min, watch a little tv, during the commercials play a little more, go clean the kitchen, play some more...you get the idea. Sometimes it's quality not quantity. I think you will find once you get into a routine that you will build your endurance to play for an hour and it won't feel like AN HOUR?!


“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
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#1061461 - 09/30/08 01:11 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I started in February this year and I have managed to practice at least an hour per day on weekdays and 2 or 3 hours per day on weekends when I'm not traveling. So that's about 10 hours per week at a minumum. Probably not more than 12 per week total, except when I went to SummerKeys this summer. I still work fulltime also.

But it's really dependent on the other demands and priorities in your life. A home, 3 children, a husband, and some pets are a handful and a full time job by themselves. I'm surprised you get 20 minutes a day of uninterrupted time. My wife and 1 have basically been orphaned as our kids are now out of the house. So our time is more our own. I am golfing more and have found time to pick up the piano. But I was 61 when I started that (62 now) and I decided it's one of my highest priorities. Fulltime work is quickly receding as a priority and one of these days soon I will retire from that.


Rod Michael
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#1061462 - 09/30/08 01:12 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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For beginner 30 minutes will do it, for 7th grader 2-3 hours...

#1061463 - 09/30/08 02:32 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I endeavor to put in 30 minutes or more per day, but it ranges from zero time (my family and my job are higher priorities) to an hour or more -- sometimes more on the weekend, but rarely on any of these occasions in uninterrupted segments.

When I have enough energy, after the kids are in bed, I can sometimes put a chunk (90 minutes or so) into doing rudimentary fingering etc on my Yamaha keyboard with the headphones on. The keyboard is a great option for basic, preliminary work, but I need to move to the grand to work on touch, pedaling, etc.


Mason & Hamlin A (2006); Yamaha P140
#1061464 - 09/30/08 02:41 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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3 to 5 hours per day - everyday.

Regards, JF


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#1061465 - 09/30/08 03:05 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Not as much as I probably need to, considering that I don't usually do everything with 2 hours of practice a day. Though proportionally I'll spend a lot more on technique than on pieces and studies, since I tend to learn those relatively quickly.

Meri


Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com
#1061466 - 10/01/08 12:31 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I'm like you, Virginia Mom. I have two kids, 2&4. I just started piano for the first time four months ago. I knew that practice time would be a challenge, so I set the goal of getting on the piano every day. Not for a specific amount of time, because my time is frequently not under my control. It is not uncommon for me to start practicing and then the kids come in and want attention, and if it is not them then the wife wants attention. I ended up buying an electronic keyboard, so if all else fails, I can practice with the headphones on after everyone else goes to bed. In reality, I probably get in 20-30 minutes a day, 7 days a week. I think being consistent about doing it everyday helps the most. I also have a teacher who understands the time limits when you have small kids (and a wife). Afterall, reality is reality.


Keep it fun, and stay motivated!

If you can achieve something without a struggle, it's not going to be satisfying.

#1061467 - 10/01/08 01:32 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Melwig, my best practice time is before anybody gets up. That keyboard could come in very handy if you just start getting up an hour earlier.


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#1061468 - 10/02/08 08:40 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Quote
Originally posted by agraffe:
If you're starting out and aren't sure you can practice for an hour a day, I would say avoid those teachers that demand this. They will know what to listen for, and you will feel defeated.

I have limited concentrative capacity, so 20 min. is a good day; many days often pass with no practice. But I *want* to play, and so I do what I can and "that's OK." smile
+1

I believe that forcing yourself to practice to a schedule that feels unnatural or uncomfortable is a risky thing to do. Too many students seem to end up on a treadmill of expectation that sucks all the joy out of it.

The ones who do keep playing (and a large percentage do drop out) are usually those who have done the best job at sorting out what motivates them in particular (and we're all a little different) rather than simply those who do x, y, or z amount of daily work. If you study to be a professional than you need professional standards and timetables, but as my aim is to enjoy music as a hobby then I've found that the number one criterion is to keep my enthusiasm up, and to play and practice with 100% attention once I start, rather than just going through the motions.

I have no daily timetable at all. I play whatever I feel like, whenever it suits, on whichever instrument I'm most interested in on the day. It might be minutes or weeks between sessions. But I'm moving forwards, getting better, and enjoying every minute of it all. Works for me.

Good luck finding whatever balance and motivation works best for you. smile

Chris


Who needs feet of clay? I can get into enough trouble with feet made of regular foot stuff...
#1061469 - 10/02/08 11:35 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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It's interesting to see how others fit piano into their lives! I remember somebody telling me how difficult time gets when raising a child, and I spurted out "Yeah I know what you mean"... Then I thought about it half a second and corrected myself "wait, actually I have no idea".

Anyways, at 19 I fell in love with classical music and determined that I would become a good pianist and began to tailor my life around that goal.

By keeping my expenses low I'm able to work 6 hours/day and save money for school. It's a good balance for me to have time and energy to practice while making a living. It's just me living in the cheapest apartment I could find. So, I have pretty good conditions to learn piano.

BUT, I often get distracted. Sometimes friends call me out and I can't resist, sometimes I'm simply lazy and wind up procrastinating an evening away on various things, sometimes work takes over my life. Often I whip myself into shape and make a lot of progress, then become complacent and gradually wind down to dissipation.

I get about an hour a day for the past few weeks, I've gotten election fever and have been spending too much time reading politics. This irks me

The way I see it is I can treat piano like my job, I'm happy enough to do what needs to be done once I'm there. So, if I consider working on music, 3 hours of that in addition to 6 hours at my job is nine hours/day. Definitely manageable, especially since I enjoy this sort of work.

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