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#2105028 - 06/19/13 07:47 PM Two or Three day Practice Break  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,228
musdan Offline
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musdan  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,228
I've posted this question on the Teachers Forum, slightly different Subject line and a little different.

My teacher will be away for a few weeks. Today's practice was a lost cause. I went over some new material and fiddled around for a while and thought that maybe a day or two away from practice would help.

Has anyone felt this way? It won't be long before my piano will say "play me", guess we all need a little time away.



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#2105034 - 06/19/13 08:02 PM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]  
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
re-posted from the aforementioned Teacher's Forum

Originally Posted by Bobpickle
Sometimes if you've been at it really hard, then I don't think a break of a day would kill you, but if you want to break for any longer, then I suggest re-evaluating why you spend time at the piano practicing. As an adult beginner, I've had many struggles with this, but through this website and various other sources, I've come to look at practicing as not "hard" or "a hassle" (I hate when given something to practice you don't like, your teacher says "the sooner you finish it, the sooner you can move on;" this is horrible advice) because whether you realize it or not, how you think of practicing - and thus your success with it or lack thereof - affects how effective your practicing will actually be. Pianist and pedagogue Seymour Bernstein devoted an entire book to effective practicing based on this idea (he even went on to argue that how you practice can positively or negatively affect all other aspects of your life as well, with which I agree). You need to look at practicing as a process that you enjoy if for no other reason than because you enjoy being at the piano and the results that manifest from said time spent practicing. Now mind you, I'm not saying that you should practice (and enjoy it) whether you're getting results or not, as I expect such patience of no one, but instead that you should practice always with specific goals in mind and a crystal clear understanding of how to reach said goals as there's no greater motivation than achieving what you want. If your current teacher can't convey this knowledge, then you may wish to re-think what you pay them for.

See the current on-going thread here for some more possible advice: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2104593.html#Post2104593


You seem to reflect even more in your thoughts expressed in those post that negative practice (not achieving the results you'd like) is outwardly affecting you. You should consider looking into purchasing the Seymour Bernstein's With Your Own Two Hands: Self-Discovery Through Music that I mentioned - I think it could really help (though a teacher that shows you hands-on how to best practice to achieve results would be the best solution).


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#2105042 - 06/19/13 08:18 PM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]  
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 540
adultpianist Offline
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adultpianist  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 540
We all need to recharge our batteries.

#2105044 - 06/19/13 08:24 PM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,228
musdan Offline
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adultpianist - thanks.

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#2105121 - 06/19/13 10:46 PM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]  
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 107
carolyn227 Offline
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carolyn227  Offline
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Posts: 107
I've actually found that sometimes a few days off can be helpful, but time off from practice should happen very rarely. I discovered this after my daughter (a violinist) injured her wrist on her bicycle. She couldn't play at all for about 3 days, and when she was able to resume practicing, she had some major breakthroughs. So while I wouldn't advise it to happen all the time, the occasional (3-4 times per year) break can be helpful.

Last edited by carolyn227; 06/19/13 10:46 PM.

Pianist and mom to three awesome kids (and budding musicians).
#2105252 - 06/20/13 08:48 AM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]  
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 477
shaolin95 Offline
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shaolin95  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 477
I only do it if I feel that my mind is totally blocked and every piece I am trying just is a mess.
It happened to me just once in recent memory so I switched to just to exercises instead of playing piano and did small sessions that day to keep my mind fresh. That seemed to work.


*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

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#2105266 - 06/20/13 09:44 AM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]  
Joined: Apr 2010
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Andy Platt Offline
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Andy Platt  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
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Virginia, USA
In general I just can't not practice. There are a couple of days when I'm at home and don't (Christmas & Thanksgiving) but, instead, I just play through Christmas tunes smile

A break isn't the end of the world but I'm actually concerned that you aren't thinking you need to try to tackle what went wrong in the practice session that makes you want to not practice for a while.

Last edited by Andy Platt; 06/20/13 12:07 PM. Reason: Minor edit

  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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#2105316 - 06/20/13 11:57 AM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,358
Kymber Offline
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Kymber  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,358
MA
I don't think its a problem at all. I find if I take a few days off here and there I don't really lose anything and often do better. Sometimes you just need a break-let things sink in.
If fact as I am typing this I just thought, I type all week but never on the weekends come Monday morning I can still type-lol. I know, it's not the same.


“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.”
― Bruce Lee
#2105440 - 06/20/13 05:12 PM Re: Two or Three day Practice Break [Re: musdan]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,228
musdan Offline
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musdan  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,228
Thanks everyone, I'm beginning to hear the piano call "play me", just think I needed a short break - it's the first one in a very loooooong time.

It's good to know that I have company.


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