Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
Who's Online Now
62 registered members (chopinoholic, Charles Cohen, Beemer, Agent88, 14 invisible), 1,604 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#1994888 - 12/05/12 05:41 AM Piano Practice Checklist!  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014
Bobpickle  Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
It seems like we're all looking to improve upon the efficiency of our practice sessions as time isn't always as abundant as we'd like, so I thought this might be a beneficial thread topic for this sub-forum. It especially might be of value to those like me who are familiar with some of the below ideas as well as their particular value, but have trouble following through with them as they get distracted easily, by their ego or some other force unless they follow a checklist or remind themselves via notes (my life in a nutshell).

My idea is to construct a 1-page checklist (in Microsoft Word or an equivalent) of how to conduct practice sessions at the piano (of at least 10-15 minutes to make writing in an accompanying journal worthwhile). The checklist is to be made thorough enough that it addresses any and all concerns about how to practice (in general terms), but also concise and articulate enough that it's easy to navigate and takes up no more than but 1 page. The end result is that you have a practice journal and a 1-page checklist for how to conduct practice sessions throughout your career.

I think you could also keep journal pages separated specifically for different weekly practice topics (i.e. repertoire, technique, improvisation, etc.) and pick-and-choose what to practice by topic, though while I do think you should keep pages separated/divided like this, for organization, I don't feel that this method of practicing allows for much, if any, spontaneity despite still ultimately pursuing your same weekly goal(s).


Below is my 1-page rough draft copied (the dressed up word .doc is attached should you choose to view the nicer edition). Please critique it for my benefit as well as everyone else should they choose to adopt such a practice. Also, if you're confused on any part or would like some clarification, just ask!

Quote
Before Practice:

1) Write and/or review WEEKLY GOALS (or other large-scale time period)

2) Review prior journal entry/entries to set up for practice

3) Write date in journal

4) Write general goals of practice session (sight-reading, repertoire and specific piece(s), technique, improvisation, etc.)

5) Write SPECIFIC goals of practice session (1 page of reading practice, piece title and, more specifically, measures/phrases x,y,& z brought up to tempo, practice improvising with these scales and accompaniments, etc.)

Mid-Practice:

6) Optional (Repertoire): Divide repertoire piece(s) into phrases and list in order of difficulty

7) Optional (Repertoire): Write in fingerings you won’t remember

8) Take it slow - "When you think you are practicing very slowly...slow down some more. You spoil everything if you want to cut corners. Nature itself works quietly. Do likewise. Take it easy. If conducted wisely, your efforts will be crowned with success. If you hurry, they will be wasted and you will fail." - Franz Liszt

9) PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT: 5 PERFECT repetitions make for perfect performance (PPI)

10) Avoid mindless practice; make every note sing – “Always play as though a master were present” – Robert Schumann

Before quitting practice, pick one thing and practice it slowly, playing it evenly and beautifully

Post Practice:

1) Note in Journal progress with specific practice goals and whether they need be touched on again next session(s) (ex. Measures/phrases a,b, & c are fluent at tempo x)

Link to Download Word .docx file (Click the SMALL BLUE Download icon)


Lastly, please keep this thread friendly and focused on the topic on hand. Thanks!





While I often think my threads are worthy nominees for stickies, I really think it about this one! laugh


edited: to include Liszt slow practice quote

Last edited by Bobpickle; 12/05/12 05:59 AM.

"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1994924 - 12/05/12 08:34 AM Re: Piano Practice Checklist! [Re: Bobpickle]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 935
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Michael_99  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 935
Canada Alberta
Pobpickle, excellent idea. Much needed.

#1995119 - 12/05/12 04:33 PM Re: Piano Practice Checklist! [Re: Bobpickle]  
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,106
PianoStudent88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
PianoStudent88  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,106
Maine
I've tried keeping a practice journal, but it takes up so much space to write what I think I'm supposed to be keeping track of, that it's too lengthy to be easily reviewed for a bird's-eye view of where I've been, where I'm at, and where I'm going. I don't know how to solve this.


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
#1995149 - 12/05/12 05:40 PM Re: Piano Practice Checklist! [Re: Bobpickle]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,324
JimF Offline
2000 Post Club Member
JimF  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,324
south florida
Last item on the list: Tell yourself "good work today" then close the fallboard.


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


Estonia L190 #7284[Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#1995156 - 12/05/12 06:08 PM Re: Piano Practice Checklist! [Re: Bobpickle]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,385
jotur Offline
Gold Level
jotur  Offline
Gold Level

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,385
Santa Fe, NM
I eventually go bananas with that kind of checklist laugh For me, it generates too much pressure/stress.

I keep a loose-leaf 3-ring binder with a page for each piece of repertoire (at this point in my life my practice is defined by repertoire). So I do note each day on that piece's sheet what I've done.

I also keep a running page that just lists, day-by-day, which pieces I practised and my total time.

Recently, since I have a twice-a-month gig at the same place, I've been more concerned about making sure all my pieces are in playable shape, so I don't bug them with the same pieces each time. So I have a monthly schedule that lists a couple of new pieces I'm just starting, a couple that are in the mid-stage, a couple in the final-ready-for-gigging stage, and a list of 5 pieces of repertoire for each week of the month for review.

So far I've almost never used the "review" list, other than at the last minute before a gig to make sure I have a little something different laugh

I'm only obsessive on the surface.

Cathy


Cathy
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Practice what you suck at - anonymous
#1995259 - 12/05/12 11:53 PM Re: Piano Practice Checklist! [Re: PianoStudent88]  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,364
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Sand Tiger  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,364
Southern California
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I've tried keeping a practice journal, but it takes up so much space to write what I think I'm supposed to be keeping track of, that it's too lengthy to be easily reviewed for a bird's-eye view of where I've been, where I'm at, and where I'm going. I don't know how to solve this.


Less can be more. Spend 10 minutes on the journal once a week, and whatever you can write out is enough. Hit the highlights such as major pieces that you may be working on or completed, average practice time per day, days missed. It may not be comprehensive, but it is a lot better than nothing, and also better than spending hours a week on journaling instead of practicing.

I keep my "journal" by posting once a week to the AOTW thread (Achievement of the Week thread). I find it helpful. Some weeks I feel like I have accomplished nothing, until I start to write.

#1995264 - 12/06/12 12:15 AM Re: Piano Practice Checklist! [Re: Bobpickle]  
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,106
PianoStudent88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
PianoStudent88  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,106
Maine
Thank you, Sand Tiger, that is a helpful suggestion.


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
#1995374 - 12/06/12 09:36 AM Re: Piano Practice Checklist! [Re: Bobpickle]  
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3,538
zrtf90 Offline
3000 Post Club Member
zrtf90  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3,538
Ireland (ex England)
The checklist must be relevant to the practise system adopted and that will always be different for each individual. The purpose is to ensure nothing of importance (to the individual) is neglected. You may of course develop it into a 'Standard Operating Procedure'.

Mine would be of little use to someone who uses a different system or approach, or someone who prefers to be less methodical.

On the journal front, I use a school exercise book (6" x 8"). One page per week. I keep it on the piano and have a collection going back years. The contents and layout changes to accommodate new practise methods.

My journal supports my current practice system. It changes to suit. You need to find what works for you. I need to have a goal for every day and I need to know whether I've achieved it. I can't stick with one or two pieces until they're done, I need to change them every week - I also find both they and I improve from the time away.

It takes me few minutes on Sunday to write out my pieces and target measures for the week ahead and next to no time each day to tick what I've completed, cross what I've not and dash or leave blank where I've not attempted.



Richard
#1996737 - 12/09/12 04:36 AM Re: Piano Practice Checklist! [Re: Bobpickle]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014
Bobpickle  Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
Interesting responses! Thanks for all of the thought put into your posts. I see that this is a completely personal/personalized practice

I think I'll find it useful to remind me of certain rules and pieces of advice when I'm struggling to help me through


and for mentions of keeping a journal - so long as thoughts recorded into the journal are concise and articulate, I feel it helps to keep my mind organized and thus ultimately able to better focus on the task at hand. Keeping such a log need not be such a hassle, as often presumed, and the way I see it, the benefits wrought from the small amount of time and energy invested into one far outweigh the sum of any cons.


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#1999865 - 12/15/12 02:46 PM Re: Piano Practice Checklist! [Re: Bobpickle]  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 660
Forrest Halford Offline
500 Post Club Member
Forrest Halford  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 660
Bowling Green, KY
Bob, I have to thank you again for leading me to Graham Fitch's blog

http://practisingthepiano.com/

I read an entry before practicing, sort of a 'meditation' if you will.

He's good. REAL good.

I was a music major (Bachelor of Arts with emphasis in piano) but I consider myself a beginner in that I'm trying to rebuild technique in a way that doesn't cause stress and I haven't been playing (at a higher level) for some 20 years due to not having a quality acoustic instrument.

That changed this past March and I'm back in the world of 'flow'.

Oddly enough, these days my practice sessions have less sound and more thought behind each phrase, I rarely play through anything at speed even when I've acquired enough technique to be able to.

I use the metronome to set the tempo in my mind, rarely using it while my fingers are engaged with the keys.

In my college days and earlier I used to let my fingers reveal to my mind what the music should sound like. Now I try to imagine the sound, the voicing, the tempo, the phrasing... and then try to tell my fingers what to do.

Again, there is more thinking than actual note playing in my practice sessions. Well, sometimes. I know that may sound odd, but there ya go.

At 54 years old and 9 months back playing, I feel I'm way smarter about it than I ever was prior.

I told my instructor that I would give her a dedicated hour each day, but it usually runs way past two. :-)

all best!

Forrest

Last edited by woodog; 12/15/12 02:52 PM.

PTG Associate Member
Haydn Hob. XVI: 23 in F major
Debussy Arabesque #1
Bach BWV 874
My beliefs are only that unless I can prove them.

Moderated by  BB Player, casinitaly 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Pearl River Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Mostly Medtner concert in Berlin, 28/11/2017
by Ken Iisaka. 11/18/17 01:45 AM
Looking for "rock"piano songs with a specific rhythm
by Wormwith.co. 11/17/17 10:04 PM
I finally inventoried my music!
by gooddog. 11/17/17 09:38 PM
Steinway Teflon Years?
by Duke of Dunning. 11/17/17 09:23 PM
Nord Piano Demo - which do you prefer...?
by Pologuy. 11/17/17 07:02 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,815
Posts2,672,648
Members89,154
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0