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#1061500 - 02/23/09 06:05 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I get grumpy when I CAN'T practice so I never feel like I HAVE to..

I usually practice 3 hours per day. Weekends can be more or less depending on other commitments.


It's the journey not the destination..
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#1061501 - 02/23/09 10:19 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I'd like to say I practice an hour a day, but I'd be lying. The only time I have to practice is the time after dinner and before my youngest daughter goes to bed. I usually squeak in 35 or 40 minutes. Sometimes something comes up, like my older daughter wants me to take her to her lesson, and I get a little less. On the weekend, I usually get my hour.

If anyone needs a little extra motivation, consider putting yourself on the MOYD .


Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.
#1061502 - 02/23/09 11:01 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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More than I should and less than I would like to.

Keep in mind, fellow adults, unless you are a church musician, a teacher, or a cocktail lounge pianist, playing the piano is a pleasant diversion, a means of self expression, a release and a way to participate humbly in a musical tradition central to our culture. It has nothing to do with meeting your obligations to your family or your community.

It is very easy to become addicted to practice. We all want to get better. But for most of us, there are more important things in our lives. So it is very easy to succumb, to hide out at the keyboard, and to fail those who depend on us while we single mindedly pursue excellence in our passion.

Practice is a bit like exercise, or wine. A good cardio workout a couple of times a week or a glass of wine with dinner are wonderful aspects of a healthy lifestyle. But the antisocial gym rat or the gal knocking back a bottle of chardonney every night has taken it too far. It's easy to do the same thing with piano practice.

Now, there are those who would suggest you practice when you aren't in the mood. It will be good for you, or so it's said. Well, there are those who suggest you drink when you're not in the mood, as well. If the boss wants to go out for beers . . . go out for beers. Good for the career.

When I was very young, in the 1970s, I had a boss who at lunch would rhetorically ask, "Seneca, how are martinis at lunch like the wings on an airplane?" He would answer himself, "one is too few and three is too many." And we would drink another round of martinis. It was bad for my afternoon productivity, but good for my career.

So I was soured early on by that approach to life.

I should practice less. I'd like to practice more. So I guess I'm in balance.

#1061503 - 02/24/09 01:11 AM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Seneca:
More than I should and less than I would like to.

Keep in mind, fellow adults, unless you are a church musician, a teacher, or a cocktail lounge pianist, playing the piano is a pleasant diversion, a means of self expression, a release and a way to participate humbly in a musical tradition central to our culture. It has nothing to do with meeting your obligations to your family or your community.

It is very easy to become addicted to practice. We all want to get better. But for most of us, there are more important things in our lives. So it is very easy to succumb, to hide out at the keyboard, and to fail those who depend on us while we single mindedly pursue excellence in our passion.

Practice is a bit like exercise, or wine. A good cardio workout a couple of times a week or a glass of wine with dinner are wonderful aspects of a healthy lifestyle. But the antisocial gym rat or the gal knocking back a bottle of chardonney every night has taken it too far. It's easy to do the same thing with piano practice.
The question is what obligations do we have to our family and to the community, and are you sure that piano practice (or exercise, for that matter) has nothing to do with it?

Now, my approach to the piano may be somewhat different - I am a returnee rather than a beginner, and music is a hugely important part of my life. I'm not a church musician, but I do play semi-professionally, and I'd like to get good. If nothing else, being able to play at a professional level will give me other employment options that, in this economy, can't be sneezed at.

But all that aside, playing the piano makes me happy. When I wasn't practicing and wasn't playing, I was unhappy. Now, I was perfectly functional, and I was fulfilling my obligations to my family and my community, in a numb sort of way, but I cried every time I read a musician's biography. When I returned to music, I became much happier.

Happy people work better, and are a lot more use to their families and communities, than unhappy people are. If what it takes to keep me happy is regular piano practice, I'd rather do that than gobble Prozac.

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#1061504 - 02/24/09 02:38 AM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Quote
Originally posted by -Frycek:
Quote
Originally posted by Virginia Mom:
[b]
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. [/b]
Thank you for that image! Post of the day.
Quote
Originally posted by -Frycek:
It's a matter of setting priorities... I just don't watch TV.
Given that the average TV watching time is 4 hours per day per family, this is the most probable source of practice time for most American families. No time, schmo time. Sell the TVs, and use the cable money for piano lessons and a good newspaper. You and your children will become less lazy, more intelligent, better informed, more integrated as human beings and the discipline of playing piano will improve discipline in other areas of life.

http://www.whitedot.org/issue/fix_faqs.asp

#1061505 - 02/24/09 01:03 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I try for an hour per day. I've been playing for about 5 months now.

10 minutes is spent on scales and A Dozen A Day, to warm up per my teacher's instruction. The next 45 minutes is split between what I'm working on for now: Four Little Pieces by Turk (this gives me something I can actually play!), Minuet in G from the A.M Bach Notebook, and Gavott by Duncombe for the Royal Exam.

Even if I'm tired, or don't feel like it, once I start practice, it becomes enjoyable and fun.

Most weekends I'm far away from a piano hiking or climbing, but it's all part of the big picture. Actually, hiking and climbing is very good preparation for piano. They both involve lots of repetition and tedium that takes you someplace special. If you take enough small steps, you travel a long way.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
#1061506 - 02/24/09 03:06 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I was wondering, for those of you who practice less than 30 minutes a day or every other day are you finding you still make progress?

I started taking up piano a year ago as a second instrument and try to keep my practice limited to 20 mins every morning before leaving for work. I get up 20 mins earlier. Sometimes I will add another 5-10 minutes in the evening in between doing other things.

I've also been doing arranging on the side for the last year as well, but I'm finding doing both piano and arranging every day is not possible, so I'm thinking about alternating between these two every other day.

Also, about the length of a practice session, I used to do one long session each day, but recently I tried breaking it up into 20 minute sessions with breaks in between. Since I changed to that I've just carried on doing it and think I prefer it now to doing one long session. The rationale behind that is that you and your brain are freshest in first 20 minutes.

There was a website which even stated that according to some study you retained 90% of what you practised in the first 20 minutes, and only 10% of what you practised thereafter. So based on that, for an hour's continuous practice you retained about 22 minutes, but for three 20 minute sessions 54 minutes.


Monk - Boo Boo's Birthday
Bach - Two Part Invention No.11
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#1061507 - 02/24/09 03:20 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I remember practicing anywhere between 4-10 in college, but I felt like I wasted a lot of that time not practicing right.. Ever since I started having problems with my hands I became a lot of conscientious about how I practice. I do about 3-4 now, and I no longer feel bad about doing more, because I am happy with the quality of my practice and I am getting something done.

I remember talking to someone about this, lets say you are practicing 5hrs+ a day as a studen.. but now you were in a situation where you can only practice only 1 hr a day... that really changes how you practice, how efficiently you practice, and your priorities are.. I guess what he meant was, practice 1 hr as if you were practicing for 6hrs... otherwise don't even think about doing more.

#1061508 - 02/24/09 03:25 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Hey VM,

When I was a kid I hated practicing, now I really enjoy it quite a bit, except when I'm in one of my frustrated moods when nothing seems to be going right. I probably put in an average of 1 hour per day, though some days up to 2. I'd put in more time, but my hands are prone to over-use syndromes so I force myself to take it easy.

Sounds like your main trouble is finding the time. I don't think there's anything wrong with practicing is small chunks. Ten or 15 minutes here, another 20 minutes there. I do this, and get to play throughout the day and I really enjoy that. I actually think, at least for me, that breaking my practice sessions up is helpful, both physically and psychologically

Hope that helps a little. The thing is, there are no rules. Do what makes you happy. smile

CG

#1061509 - 02/24/09 03:46 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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These days I practice actually in front of a piano as time allows. Sometimes 30 mins, sometimes many hours. Performing and teaching also puts me in front of the piano quite a bit and depending on the gig I can work on what I've been practicing or not.

I also think it is important to mention that practice doesn't always have to be in front of the piano. I was taught this early on and there are some great ways to practice when you're on an airplane, in the car, on a walk, etc. I've posted a short article about this on my website if you're curious:

Practicing Piano

#1061510 - 02/24/09 03:50 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Hi, Larisa--

To put it alliteratively, if not musically--when picking your poison, piano is preferable to prozac.

More seriously, in some of your other posts you've mentioned you are finishing law school and starting a legal career. I would think, after a frustrating day as a junior lawyer when everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and anyone who could be unreasonable was unreasonable, sitting down at the piano (particularly with 16 years of classical instruction, or whatever you've had, to your credit) would be a very satisfying and stress relieving release.

I know whereof I speak--I started a legal career decades ago. As a matter of fact, the martini man I mentioned in my first post was a senior partner in the firm. It was a major brain-liver test to have lunch with him and then go back to the office and spend the afternoon drafting contracts. Hopefully you won't face any of that, now that the world has gone soft and the firms have started heating the associates' offices and there is running water in the staff lavatories.

#1061511 - 02/24/09 05:19 PM Re: How much do you practice?  
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Seneca,

Amazing how many lawyers there are here in PianoWorld. It gives me great hope. smile

And yes, practicing is great stress relief for me. I think the only reason I got this far in law school with my sanity relatively intact is because I could escape to the practice room after lectures.

The law firm I'm going to work for after graduation has its own rock band - two partners and two associates. I have the feeling that my method of stress relief won't be considered too terribly unusual.

#1061512 - 02/25/09 09:59 AM Re: How much do you practice?  
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I'm a university student at the moment, so I have a lot of free time. I usually practise for two to four hours each day, depending on my piano workload. If I am trying to actually learn a piece, I will spend three to four, easily.

I can spend a lot more time on top by checking out new music (scores and audio) and trying to learn more about history or theory. So I can really spend toward eight hours a day on music-related activities.


Kawai K-3 (2008)
#1717598 - 07/20/11 10:10 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
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I have been playing the piano for roughly 8 years (I'm only 15), and I practice for anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours! It really depends; I think the averge would be about 2 to 3 hours, but because I have a lot of other extra-curricular commitments, the actual daily amount can vary a lot. However simply due to my intense love of the piano, and romantic period music, I try to practice as much as I can. Doing this, I have been able to progress quite well, I went from studying some of the easiest chopin études, to some very difficult pieces by composers such as Liszt and Rachmaninoff in roughly an 18-24 month period. I've noticed that as I get more and more advanced, I tend to practice more; simply because as I get better, it gets more and more fun! (Please pardon my english, french is my native language.)


Music is enough for life, but life is not enough for music.-Rachmaninoff

Working on: Chopin waltz Op.64 No.2, Mozart K.331, Bach praeludium no.7 BWV 876
#1717651 - 07/20/11 11:58 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
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I am lucky if I manage 20 minutes a day on average.

I don't watch TV, btw smile. I have trouble practising when the TV is on (piano has to be in same room as TV). I find it hard to practise when exhausted or otherwise worried/distracted, too (I have 4 young children, no child-free time except when youngest is in preschool; and I feel tired most of the time).

I am guilty of surfing online a lot of my time, but that's because it's easy to do in 20 second -5 minute snippets. I can't get much out of piano practice in unforeseeable snippets of time: I need to have some realistic hope of my practice session lasting at least 3 minutes to be able to concentrate at all.

Also I have injuries in my hands so physically I couldn't do more than an hour/day, even if I had the time.

Yes I am making progress but I have to have realistic expectations; it's taken me 5 yrs to get to being able to play Grade 2 stuff; I'm trying to work on consolidating G2 technique now, which I expect to take the next 1-3 years, before I move on to G3 stuff.

Given I'm the sort of person that others have publicly pointed at and laughed at and made really horrendously cruel remarks to my face about my musical declination, I'm quite pleased with my progress, actually smile.

I will go practise in a minute, though it's not yet 6am & I run the risk of waking somebody up, lol.

#1717670 - 07/21/11 12:25 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Julii]  
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Originally Posted by Julii
Given I'm the sort of person that others have publicly pointed at and laughed at and made really horrendously cruel remarks to my face about my musical declination, I'm quite pleased with my progress, actually smile.


Sorry to hear that this has happened to you. Given your circumstances, schedule, and determination, I can't see why anyone, including yourself, shouldn't be proud of what you've achieved!

Please, keep going - a little bit each day adds up!


Learning to play since June 2009.
My piano diary on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/afpaSTU1096
[Linked Image] <- 10+ ABF recitals
#1717674 - 07/21/11 12:26 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: BenPiano]  
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And it's satisfying to prove the b******s wrong smile.

#1717724 - 07/21/11 02:24 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Larisa]  
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Originally Posted by Larisa
Happy people work better, and are a lot more use to their families and communities, than unhappy people are. If what it takes to keep me happy is regular piano practice, I'd rather do that than gobble Prozac.


I suspect that's why wife and kids put up with my pianophilia. At the end of the day, it isn't a source of income and it can be very isolating and antisocial.

#1739382 - 08/23/11 10:45 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
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For those who practice 4+ hours a day:

4 hours of practice a day is the maximum recommended time for anybody(including professionals) -- and that's plenty of time. The brain can only concentrate for 7-15 minutes in one go, for a certain amount of time in one day. Your muscles and tendons can only stand so much strain.

If you feel that you need to practice much more than 4 hours a day, either you are biting off much more repertoire than you can chew, or your practice is too inefficient and unfocused.

Last edited by cindycindy; 08/24/11 12:07 AM.

2011 repertoire

SOLO
Bach P&F G maj book I
Chopin Etude Ab major Op. 25 no. 1
Chopin Impromptu no. 1 op. 29
Bartok 3 Burlesques op. 8
Liszt Annes de Pelerinage - Sposalizio
Haydn Sonata in b minor XVI: 32
Debussy Prelude - Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir
Schumann Arabesque Op. 18
#1739668 - 08/24/11 11:30 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
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The time I spend practicing has increased over the last 3 months. I generally practice 20-40 minutes at a time, 5-6 times a day (7 days a week). So that works out to like 2 hours a day. I get very antsy if I don't have time to sit and practice.

I keep a written log of what I have practiced each time so I can be sure to cover everything I need to instead of just covering what I like.


Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue
#1739699 - 08/24/11 12:13 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: GracieCat]  
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Originally Posted by GracieCat
I generally practice 20-40 minutes at a time, 5-6 times a day (7 days a week)

I do it the same way, and I think it's the best approach. If I practise over an hour, the concetration level is really low, it's much better to split the practise to several sessions smile ideally, one session for each ''problem'' (individual pieces, scales, technical exercises, sight-reading)


The Beginning: chilly morning of 10th April 2010
#1974035 - 10/16/12 10:50 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
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I am starting to do more than a couple of hours a day, and weekends i do around 10 over the 2 days, I am a teenager

#1974303 - 10/16/12 09:22 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
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I don't practice as much as I'd like, due to work/family obligations and also other musicians playing.

Recently, i started doing this: My present goal is 8 hours a week.
When I get home from my lesson, I set my timer for 8 hours. Then whenever I start practicing, I start the timer. When I stop practicing, I pause it. This helps me to avoid a last minute cram.

I also make it a point to run over and run through a song or two when the opportunity presents itself. It might only be a few minutes but it all helps.

So I might not have as many long focused sessions as I'd like but the short ones help too. I usually manage a couple of long focused sessions where I really work on particularly hard stuff with lots of repetition.


Oongawa

'63 Mason & Hamlin Model A

[Linked Image]

Working on: Chopin - Mazurka 7 No. 2 / The Prayer - Coates Arrangement / Einaudi - Nefeli
#1974313 - 10/16/12 09:54 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
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I try and do 30 minutes every night before bed. Work has been crazy though the last few weeks (70+ hours) so any spare time is mostly just wind down quiet time before bed.

yuo actually need a lot of mental stamina to practice effectively. Hopefully I'll get some time off work early next year to spend some quality time practicing.

I'm going for my ABRSM grade 1 exam next year. Check out my blog to see my progress!



My blog tracking my progress as I learn the piano.

http://www.pianoendeavour.blogspot.com
#1974503 - 10/17/12 10:27 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
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Yeah, me too. I don't really believe in practicing for more than 2 hours, it will exhaust me and I won't be focused anymore. I usually practice for 1-2 hours, 5 days a week. It actually depends on the difficulty of the piece I'm learning, though. I'm currently learning Chopin Op 62 no 2 and Chopin Op 10 no 5, quite difficult for me, so I need at least 1.5 hour of practice.


17. Pianist. Bookworm. Shoe addict. Wander and wonder at the same time.
#1976308 - 10/20/12 01:26 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
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Originally Posted by Virginia Mom
I'm curious to know how much you usually practice? How many times per week and how often per practice.... 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.


For the first 3 months, 20 minutes/day is enough.

However, you will have to--HAVE TO--study far more as you develop. Doing 20 minutes a day for 10 years will get you almost nowhere. Sometime you need to do 1-2 hours a day to progress steadily.

Learning piano is a progressive thing, and it's like being a baby again, learning to walk or talk or whatever. You waddle around and flop about for months and then you stumble around for a year or two, and then you get cocky and zip up and down in short bursts before you show off a couple years as you overdo everything. Then you get confident and comfortable and go everywhere for a decade or two before settling down and doing a bit of exercise while having a drink after work, etc.

Within a couple years you should gear up for 2-3 hours/day to push yourself upward. Chopin said over 3 hours is a detriment, and that's awesome... if you believe Chopin did it that way, which he didn't. Many pros can be a student's worst enemy to stop possible competition. You can practice about anything in anyway as long as possible during your first few thousand hours of practice, as long as basic technique is good, because you are building muscle and ear coordination to make you able to play fluidly. After that, when you are an advanced student, you have to settle down and focus on progressing while playing instead of just playing to understand how to play, or you spin wheels. According to the "Outliers" and the Andersen 10,000 rule of practice, it will take 10 years to settle into a dedicated study; that's the point when your mind will pull everything together and you will be able to become "a natural".


Currently working on/memorizing...
"It's You" from Robotech
"He's A Pirate"
"Crazy Bone Rag"
"What The World Needs Now"
#1977553 - 10/23/12 10:41 AM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
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I play around 2-5 hours a day. Not all at once, I break it up... before work, after work, before bed time etc... if you play too long you start getting fatigued (if your playing and concentrating correctly) which can lead to mistakes and soreness. Try and break up your playing throughout the day...

and when you are practicing, actually give your full concentration. Full concentration for 20mins is better than an hour playing whilst the TV is on, or you're thinking about what chores, work, kids need to eat for dinner etc etc etc...

use your time wisely


Essex EUP-123S

#1977604 - 10/23/12 01:52 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 503
Farmerjones Offline
500 Post Club Member
Farmerjones  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 503
Midwest USA
I wouldn't say i practice at all. I file through my rep. and refresh myself on the tunes that grab me at the time. I want to do this for hours but my hands get tired, so it's usually no more than an hour, but it's every day. I don't recommend my approach to anybody, but this is what i do/want. I've only been playing piano for 5 months, but put in the thousands of hours on the violin and a few other instruments. I understand it takes time, and i can easily commit the time.

It's almost like there has to be another instrument of the same name. But Chopin disciple, or barrelhouse player like me, the common denominator is time. The new neural connections(pathways) take time be built. I think science confirms that forming new neural connections is easier if it's done routinely. I've been learning songs for fifty years. It would hurt more to stop, to not play music, than it would to continue.

Last edited by Farmerjones; 10/23/12 02:56 PM.

Rhythm & Chords, it's what I do.
#1977609 - 10/23/12 02:05 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 8
Morte Offline
Junior Member
Morte  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 8
Israel
Currently I practice A LOT, but it's only because it's the beginning of the semester, I think I'll eventually average on an hour per day for 5-6 days per week, I can get away with it if I keep a strict schedule.


“Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.”

-Albert Einstein
#1977645 - 10/23/12 03:33 PM Re: How much do you practice? [Re: Virginia Mom]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Chopinlover49  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
I don't really practice as such anymore. I just play whatever I feel in the mood for, and when I am really starting to hit things pretty smoothly, I pull out the seriously advance things that I can't really play and I play some of the easier parts, or, if I am really firing on all eight cylinders, I expand into some of the harder parts to add them to my wish list. I may never be able to play some of these all the way through, but I only play for my own enjoyment, so I do what I like. Usually I can sit and play for about three hours or until body pain makes me quit. I have been known to put in three or four sessions of an hour or two in the same day. It all depends on whatever I have to do. I am retired and have lots of time. If I had been able to take lessons when I was young, I would do everything differently, but I have never had a lesson on the piano, so it has taken me about 45 years to get to the same level as my daughter did in three.

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