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How long does a piece take to learn #1471073
07/09/10 10:06 AM
07/09/10 10:06 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 58
uk
tedhorton Offline OP
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tedhorton  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 58
uk
I would be interested to know how many weeks it takes you to learn a grade two piece e.g. Bach Minuet in G or maybe a more difficult piece from Alfred Book 2.

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Re: How long does a piece take to learn [Re: tedhorton] #1471083
07/09/10 10:20 AM
07/09/10 10:20 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 180
Kansas City
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photowriters Offline
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photowriters  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 180
Kansas City
Hmmm . . .

Define "Learn"
  • Play through without stopping?
  • Play through without stopping from memory?
  • Play without any mistakes?
  • Play with feeling?
  • Etc.


Regards,

Bob
Re: How long does a piece take to learn [Re: photowriters] #1471092
07/09/10 10:27 AM
07/09/10 10:27 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 58
uk
tedhorton Offline OP
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tedhorton  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 58
uk
Sorry what I mean by learn is very subjective what I mean is to get it to the stage that you feel justified in moving on to another piece. I suppose this is more relevant I when you are trying to work your way through a book like say Alfred book 2

Re: How long does a piece take to learn [Re: tedhorton] #1471097
07/09/10 10:41 AM
07/09/10 10:41 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 861
Bristol, UK
EJR Offline
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EJR  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 861
Bristol, UK
How long is it taking you (weeks and hours of practice) and are you concerned that it's taking you too long?


Re: How long does a piece take to learn [Re: EJR] #1471682
07/10/10 11:52 AM
07/10/10 11:52 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 769
Michigan
GlassLove Offline
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GlassLove  Offline
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Posts: 769
Michigan
Hi Ted,
I am learning Bach's Minuet in G right now. I have been working on it for 5 weeks (I am learning four other pieces too, so certainly my pace is a bit slower than it would be if I were only learning the minuet).
The first two weeks, I really just focused on fingering and playing the correct notes. Then I isolated measures that seemed difficult for me (where I reliably made mistakes) and played them over and over again, then the following week I worked on measures that I couldn't play within the piece at the same tempo as others. Now, this week, I am playing the piece through in its entirety, focusing primarily on dynamics.
I work with a teacher and each week I joke that I must be the only student who has taken so long to play such an "easy" piece. She keeps saying that the piece is anything but "easy" and that my rate of progress is just great.
I am also working on the first prelude from WTC. She told me she expects it to take me about two months to play it well. I have only been working on it for about two weeks now.
I hope that this helps you.


Christine










[Linked Image]
Re: How long does a piece take to learn [Re: GlassLove] #1471688
07/10/10 12:02 PM
07/10/10 12:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,051
rocket88 Offline
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rocket88  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,051
How long is a piece of string?

Really, yours is an impossible question to answer, because each person is an individual mixture of talent, their present stage of musical development, their practice habits, etc, etc, etc.

I suggest you get some outside input, because the final result my be satisfactory to you, but below par. Or, on the other hand, you may be able to play it well, but your inner critic may say you need more work, when in truth you don't.

But in general, For those relatively easy pieces, if it takes you 6 months, the pieces are probably over your head. If it takes you a week, it is easy and simple for you.

But to try to answer your question, in general, (very general), perhaps a month or two to play it very well, with virtually no mistakes, at tempo, and with feeling, such as ready for a recital.

One thing about music is that each piece contains some skill that can be learned, so if you think about your learning pieces as "ready to move on", then have you learned and have you got under your fingers what the method book is teaching thru that piece? With Alfred's, that is easy, because each piece is an exercise and an example of the lesson.



Piano teacher.
Re: How long does a piece take to learn [Re: rocket88] #1471714
07/10/10 12:54 PM
07/10/10 12:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,318
mr_super-hunky Offline
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mr_super-hunky  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,318
How long is a piece of string"

Not an *impossible* question to answer. Just needs to be a little more specific.

Shoe strings range from 18-30 inches depending on # of eyelets.

Masonry string comes in 100 and 500 ft rolls at home depot.

Guitar strings come in nickel, stainless steel and phosphor bronze and are purchased in a bulk, enough to restring the instrument.

Tennis racquets hold approx 36 feet of string.

String bikinis are always made out of too much string (no matter what quantity used!).

I could go on but this is getting stupid.

Getting back to OP question, a new piece should take you 1 month to learn with DAILY practice. Daily practice = 1 hour per day minimum.

Day 1 = F-.
Day 2,3 = F
Day 4-7 = F+ (possibly D-)

Week 2 = D up to C- by end of week.

Week 3 = C up to B by end of week

Week 4 = B up to B+ by end of week and now, end of month.

NOTE: To get from B+ (after 1 month) to any form of an "A", add 2 add'l months of fine tuning! (No, I'm NOT kidding).

Also keep in mind the following:

1.) There is an inverse relationship between the amount of times you play the piece and how much you still like it. Really!

2.) There is also an inverse relationship between the amount of times you play a piece and the amount your family members continue to love you. Really!

3.) Also, there is the realization that in the amount of time it took you to learn a new piece you could have started AND completed an entire new addition to your house as well as possibly relandscaped a few areas. Possibly even built a greenhouse to grow your own veggies too!

I hate to say this but playing piano may not be the most cost effective, effecient activity out there. Then again, what is your sanity worth?

Re: How long does a piece take to learn [Re: mr_super-hunky] #1471743
07/10/10 01:59 PM
07/10/10 01:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,337
B
bluekeys Offline
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bluekeys  Offline
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Posts: 1,337
I'm a devout tortoise, and not a hare. I only count how long it takes to learn things retrospectively after I've done it. Worrying about it before then is pointless. Keep plodding away. It will come.

As for the Minuet in G, I think it was a good two months before I could play it consistently with few or no flubs, and I think I started it at about six months of playing. As the wise Mr Hunky pointed out, you can usually get to the "B" level in steady progress, but the final push to grade A performance level -- if it comes at all -- is usually only after many months or even years.

I read somewhere (possibly Chang?) that one of the things that separates good pianists from mediocre is continuing to polish pieces that are finished. If you do that, the amount of time it took to reach "finished" soon becomes irrelevant anyway.

Re: How long does a piece take to learn [Re: bluekeys] #1471881
07/10/10 04:52 PM
07/10/10 04:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,588
findingnemo2010 Offline
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findingnemo2010  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,588
as long as you want it to take lol or however much time you have on your hands, that helps too


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
Re: How long does a piece take to learn [Re: findingnemo2010] #1472041
07/10/10 09:56 PM
07/10/10 09:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 145
Toronto, Ontario
A
Art A. Offline
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Art A.  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 145
Toronto, Ontario
A very accomplished piano player told me that you will not be able to take a given piece to 100% unless there is something wrong with you laugh

Re: How long does a piece take to learn [Re: tedhorton] #1472603
07/11/10 09:21 PM
07/11/10 09:21 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,607
California
4evrBeginR Offline
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4evrBeginR  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,607
California
So far the answers here varies quite a lot. On average, for me, if I'm learning a piece that is at my level, it should take no more than a week to be able to play it back for my teacher both hands together probably with some mistakes here and there.

For a level 2 pieces there are generally no more than 4 to 6 lines of music. You should be able to learn a line a day. If you have to learn a measure or two a day, then it too hard. If you could learn several lines a day, then it's too easy.

If you don't have a teacher to tell you it's time to move on, then I would at minimum play the piece until you have mastered the tempo, dynamics, and phrasing correctly, playing the whole piece smoothly, without pause or hesitation anywhere. Then you can move on. If you make one or two small mistakes, it's fine.


Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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