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#1087581 - 12/16/08 12:57 AM Rate of progress?  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
MonsoonQueen Offline
Junior Member
MonsoonQueen  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
Faced with the prospect of having a bunch of time on my hands, I'm strongly considering succumbing to the piano's siren song. I'm just trying to get a read on the how much time put in results in what kind of results out.

How many hours of practice to play:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-Y7trsjKxw&feature=related ?
Ravel Prelude?
Chopin, etude op. 10 no. 3?

Let's say the student is of average ability, a 26 year old adult, played flute 10yrs ago, will receive 1 hr of instruction a week, and will practice 3 hours/day.

I realize these numbers are impossible to pin down exactly but I'm really just looking for ballpark/order of magnitude estimates and trying to be more specific that the "how long does it take to get good" question that's inevitably met with a volley of "it depends" responses. If there are better "benchmark" pieces you'd like to proffer up and attach a number to, by all means do.

Many thanks for your help.

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#1087582 - 12/16/08 01:50 AM Re: Rate of progress?  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,163
sotto voce Offline
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sotto voce  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,163
Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
The only specific answer I can offer is about the Chopin etude. Though it's often categorized as one of Chopin's least demanding etudes, if you've heard it from start to finish you know that the beginning and ending sections are slow, tranquil and contemplative. And it's true that they are probably in the low-intermediate difficulty range.

But because of the progressively turbulent middle segment with its powerful emotional climax, the technical challenges of the piece are quite unbalanced. This central section is formidably difficult even for advanced pianists.

Fortunately, for those who wish or need to do so, it's easy enough to omit it entirely and bring the piece to a close by skipping directly from the first segment to a corresponding point in the conclusion.

Steven

#1087583 - 12/16/08 02:27 AM Re: Rate of progress?  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,493
Gary D. Offline
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Gary D.  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,493
South Florida
Quote
Originally posted by sotto voce:
[QB] The only specific answer I can offer is about the Chopin etude. Though it's often categorized as one of Chopin's least demanding etudes, if you've heard it from start to finish you know that the beginning and ending sections are slow, tranquil and contemplative. And it's true that they are probably in the low-intermediate difficulty range.
That low only if we are talking about pushing the keys down. To play the first and last part(s), you have to be very good at bringing out a melody with mostly the weak fingers in the RH.

I would say that ability comes later for most people. The problem is that the notes, by themselves, are quite boring.

Chopin was a sneaky composer. There is something technical going on every moment in his etudes. The easier they appear, the harder something else is. smile


Piano Teacher
#1087584 - 12/16/08 09:20 AM Re: Rate of progress?  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,550
NancyM333 Offline
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NancyM333  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,550
Roswell, Georgia
There's a lively thread on the Piano Teacher's forum on this topic right now. I don't actually know anyone who has consistenly kept up that level of practice from the start in order to give much of a guideline. I heard a high school student play Moonlight Sonata (first movement) after two years of lessons, and I was quite impressed by that. He played another instrument in the band, so he might be somewhat similar to you.

Here's what I've found about being an adult returner. When I first started, I had some strong goals and I worked toward them every day. As I got close to achieving them, I realized that it wasn't achieving the goal that was keeping me going; it was the every day practice. I just loved it. So now I just find pieces I enjoy and keep working, occasionally setting a "big piece" goal, and sometimes just working on what I find. There's a lot of beautiful music out there at every level!

Nancy



Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3
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#1087585 - 12/16/08 09:33 AM Re: Rate of progress?  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,225
LaValse Offline
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LaValse  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,225
Mumbles, Wales
The Ravel Prelude was devised as a sight reading test and has its tricky bits - the chords needs to be voiced and the thirds need to be legato (and the octaves as legato as possible).

Clearly it's not anywhere as hard as the Etude but it's still a piece that needs a decent technical platform to work from (IMO)...

I like this performance:-

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=A4WoCf3QCtE

#1087586 - 12/17/08 12:11 AM Re: Rate of progress?  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
MonsoonQueen Offline
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MonsoonQueen  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
Arg, while I appreciate the feedback, no responses came with any kind of response to the question (which involved numbers).

Watch this 2min video,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-Y7trsjKxw&feature=related
then guess how many hours of practice it would take an average pure beginner with aforementioned qualifications to play. Give a range of hours if necessary. Just don't equivocate.

I'll seriously buy you a beer if you're in the NY area,
MonsoonQueen

#1087587 - 12/17/08 05:03 AM Re: Rate of progress?  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,225
LaValse Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LaValse  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,225
Mumbles, Wales

#1087588 - 12/17/08 05:22 AM Re: Rate of progress?  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 14,414
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 14,414
Canada
That question is hard to answer. First of all, by practicing do you mean that as a beginner you practice this particular piece? Or you practice what you need in terms of acquiring the skills to tackle this piece, and then practice the piece? Do you as a beginner already know how to sight read in the basss and treble clef? Are you familiar with the layout of the piano and its registers and notes? If this piece needs a wide span in the hand, and control in the weaker fingers to bring out the notes that constitute melody, have you worked up to that level of ability yet so that you can tackle it without injuring yourself?

In other words, there is practicing of *other* things in order to enable you to handle this particular piece. Are you including that in your question?

#1087589 - 12/19/08 11:21 AM Re: Rate of progress?  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 63
grotrianer Offline
Full Member
grotrianer  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 63
Braunschweig, Germany
Ok, if no one else want to put numbers to it, I'll jump in, unqualified as I am.

This is my experience. After ~5 years of lessons as a kid I started to learn op.10/3 on my own. I was soon able to press all the keys at approximately the right time. As others have written it is hard to play well. I have no experience regarding the latter, but I think after one year of qualified instruction, the result might have been not too hopeless.

I'd be surprised if I put more than one hour of daily practice in as a child, so my 5 years of lessons translate to 1 1/2 years of yours. On the other hand you will have to build up stamina before you can do 3 hours of effective practice per day. Let's make it 2 years.

So my result is that with your schedule and qualified instruction it will take you 3 years to get to a not too shabby amateur interpretation of op. 10/3. Does this sound far off? I don't know, 3 years sounds like a short time, but 3 hrs/day is a lot, and I've been surprised before by people claiming they have only been playing for a couple of years.


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