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#2675143 - 09/14/17 01:30 AM How Often Should I Practice Repetoire?  
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So like many people tend to do, I got too caught up in learning new pieces, to the point where my old pieces are starting to get dusty. So naturally, after finishing the last piece I was working on (Mozart Sonata K330, took me a month thank god that's over haha), I decided it was time to go back and brush up on all my repertoire again before moving along to new pieces. This might take a while though because I have about 14 pieces to work on(if you count movements of sonatas individually, otherwise it's just 10).

After I go back and bring them all back up to par, I'm obviously going to continue to regularly practice them so that I don't forget. However, how often would you recommend I go through repertoire? I'm pretty sure every single day is an overkill, but once a week seems like it might not be enough. And my list of pieces that I learned is growing way faster than previously expected(I'm learning a mix of old classical pieces I played and new ones I haven't. Boy did I learn a lot back in the day!). What should I do once the list starts to get really big and how should I go about splitting up the repertoire?

My practice routine is usually an hour to an hour and a half in the morning/noon and another session of the same time at night. On busy days, I only practice at night time. I always spend the first 15 minutes of practice working on my scales as a warm up and to make sure I keep the basics in check, then spend the rest of the time working on repertoire. As of now, the only new piece I'm learning is Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata Movement 2 as a kind of relief piece after the Mozart sonata. I have a file on my computer where I keep track of scales I know at what tempo as well as what pieces I know and what their difficulty ratings are. Here are the pieces I "know" so far (aka learned/relearned since May/June):

Beethoven:
Sonata Op. 79 No. 25 in G Major
Brahms:
Waltz Op. 39 No. 1 in B Major
Waltz Op. 39 No. 2 in E Major
Chopin:
Mazurka Op. 68 No. 3 in F Major
Prelude Op. 28 No. 9 in E Major
Waltz Op. 34 No. 2 in A minor
Waltz Op. 69 No. 1 in A-Flat Major
Debussy:
Arabesque L. 66 No. 1 in E Major
Prelude No. 8 Book 1 | "La fille aux cheveux de lin"
Mozart:
Sonata K330 in C Major

It might not be the most impressive(I know, I have no Bach, tsk tsk), but everyone has to start somewhere. And I REALLY want to have a big pool of repertoire, I just have bad time management skills haha.

Thanks for all the help! I'm sure others need help with their repertoire as well laugh

Last edited by AviChak; 09/14/17 01:42 AM.
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#2675179 - 09/14/17 08:30 AM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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I'm sure others are having problems answering this, as it seems a very personal answer, which will vary with each of us. I see the factors as:

do you want to keep the repertoire at 'performance level' or are you willing to resurrect it knowing it will not take you long to get to performance readiness?
Do you want all the scores to remain in memory, or is retaining by reading the score acceptable?
Are the scores AT, BELOW or ABOVE your typical repertoire level? This will affect the frequency that you need to repeat

For me, the more of a challenge it was to learn, the more frequently I rotate it through my repertoire. If it is a score that I can restore with a couple of play-throughs, I don't worry about the interval as I recognize it will not take much energy. Since you have these at performance level, I would divide them into (A: took a lot of work; B: not so much C: no big deal), set up an interval for each of the categories and see if the intervals need to be adjusted

Just my thoughts


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
#2675293 - 09/14/17 04:02 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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Originally Posted by AviChak
So like many people tend to do, I got too caught up in learning new pieces, to the point where my old pieces are starting to get dusty. So naturally, after finishing the last piece I was working on (Mozart Sonata K330, took me a month thank god that's over haha), I decided it was time to go back and brush up on all my repertoire again before moving along to new pieces. This might take a while though because I have about 14 pieces to work on(if you count movements of sonatas individually, otherwise it's just 10).
I don't think any non professional should spend almost any time trying to maintain repertoire. Why do think this should be done?

#2675295 - 09/14/17 04:03 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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Originally Posted by AviChak
So like many people tend to do, I got too caught up in learning new pieces, to the point where my old pieces are starting to get dusty. So naturally, after finishing the last piece I was working on (Mozart Sonata K330, took me a month thank god that's over haha), I decided it was time to go back and brush up on all my repertoire again before moving along to new pieces. This might take a while though because I have about 14 pieces to work on(if you count movements of sonatas individually, otherwise it's just 10).
I don't think any non professional should spend almost any time trying to maintain repertoire. Why do think this should be done?

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#2675296 - 09/14/17 04:07 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by AviChak
So like many people tend to do, I got too caught up in learning new pieces, to the point where my old pieces are starting to get dusty. So naturally, after finishing the last piece I was working on (Mozart Sonata K330, took me a month thank god that's over haha), I decided it was time to go back and brush up on all my repertoire again before moving along to new pieces. This might take a while though because I have about 14 pieces to work on(if you count movements of sonatas individually, otherwise it's just 10).
I don't think any non professional should spend almost any time trying to maintain repertoire. Why do think this should be done?


Just because I'm a nonprofessional doesn't automatically mean I have a lower desire to be a good pianist. In fact, one of my non-career related goals is to become a very skilled pianist and musician. I have a ways to go, but it's something I've wanted to do for a long time, hence why I can still find the spirit to practice despite my often busy college schedule.

As for why I would want to continue to maintain my repetoire, I believe every piece has something of value to it no matter how easy or simple it might be. Yes it's true there are other pieces that I will discover that i will probably like more. But I picked these pieces to learn because I like them as well. Besides, I already took the time to learn it. So why not spend a tad more to make it so my efforts don't go to waste? smile

Last edited by AviChak; 09/14/17 04:08 PM.
#2675303 - 09/14/17 04:33 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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Not to mention, it is always nice to be able to play something well when somebody asks, whether you are a professional or not. In my latest incarnation as an amateur pianist (after 30 years away and a snapped tendon in one bicep and a severed tendon in one pinky from a car accident) I play through every piece I know slowly once, ironing out the kinks, then once to see how I would play it in performance. Since I've only been back a year it takes about 2-3 hours to play. Starting next year I will probably alternate days (half the repertoire one day, half the next). The rest of the time is spent learning new music and getting new music up to speed. Caveat: I practice 2.5 hours in the morning, 2-3 at night and 6-7 hours a day over the weekend.

#2675307 - 09/14/17 04:44 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: dogperson]  
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Originally Posted by dogperson
I'm sure others are having problems answering this, as it seems a very personal answer, which will vary with each of us. I see the factors as:

do you want to keep the repertoire at 'performance level' or are you willing to resurrect it knowing it will not take you long to get to performance readiness?
Do you want all the scores to remain in memory, or is retaining by reading the score acceptable?
Are the scores AT, BELOW or ABOVE your typical repertoire level? This will affect the frequency that you need to repeat

For me, the more of a challenge it was to learn, the more frequently I rotate it through my repertoire. If it is a score that I can restore with a couple of play-throughs, I don't worry about the interval as I recognize it will not take much energy. Since you have these at performance level, I would divide them into (A: took a lot of work; B: not so much C: no big deal), set up an interval for each of the categories and see if the intervals need to be adjusted

Just my thoughts


+1. It's highly variable. But the good news is the more you do it, the less you need to. Now while it's all rusty, you might run through it all two or three times a week or more, and not do much else. When pieces feel secure to you, drop them out of the rotation every other time. Then if that works, run them every third time. Keep on cutting back until you feel something weakening, and then increase the frequency for that piece. Eventually you may be running everything only once a month, or even less. It all depends on how your brain works.

But like muscles, memory strengthens with use. The more you use it, the easier it gets.


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#2675309 - 09/14/17 04:50 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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Originally Posted by AviChak
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
]I don't think any non professional should spend almost any time trying to maintain repertoire. Why do think this should be done?
Just because I'm a nonprofessional doesn't automatically mean I have a lower desire to be a good pianist.
I don't think maintaiing repertoire has much to do with becoming a good pianist.

Originally Posted by AviChak
As for why I would want to continue to maintain my repetoire, I believe every piece has something of value to it no matter how easy or simple it might be. Yes it's true there are other pieces that I will discover that i will probably like more. But I picked these pieces to learn because I like them as well. Besides, I already took the time to learn it. So why not spend a tad more to make it so my efforts don't go to waste? smile
Why would your efforts go to waste if you you don't maintain old pieces in your repertoire? IMO one could argue that any time spent trying to maintain rep(which would keep on increasing with each piece you learn)could be spent more beneficially learning new rep.

My guess is that most amateur pianists don't worry much about maintaining pieces in their repertoire. They might try to have a few pieces ready if someone asks to hear them play. I'm not even convinced that pro pianists do much in this area either. For starters, they would have so many pieces that really maintaining them would take an almost impossible amount of time. My guess is if they plan to perform a previously learned piece they just try to devote enough time before the performance to review the piece.

#2675323 - 09/14/17 05:38 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
My guess is that most amateur pianists don't worry much about maintaining pieces in their repertoire. They might try to have a few pieces ready if someone asks to hear them play. I'm not even convinced that pro pianists do much in this area either. For starters, they would have so many pieces that really maintaining them would take an almost impossible amount of time. My guess is if they plan to perform a previously learned piece they just try to devote enough time before the performance to review the piece.

This is how it works. Highly proficient pianists don't spend time maintaining repertoire, they are simply able to refresh it back to performance standard quickly if they need to use it.


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2675328 - 09/14/17 05:54 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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Every amateur has to decide for himself/herself how much priority they want to place on maintaining existing rep.

I remember reading somewhere that a respected teacher once saw a passenger on a cruise ship playing three pieces very well, from memory. On speaking to her, it turned out that those were the only pieces she could play, because she only ever played them and nothing else for years, so she could play them very well. She never bothered to learn anything new, and was simply happy with what she had.

On the other hand, there are those who have hardly anything they can play well (from the score or from memory), because they are always 'in between' learning pieces and never perfect one before discarding it and going on to the next new thing. Students in their early years might well do that with their teachers, and (unless they're doing exams) because it takes too long to perfect any piece they're learning, their priority is to develop new skills rather than perfect any one piece (to the best of their ability at the time) only to move on once done. Certainly, in my student years, I never maintained any piece, and the exam pieces - the only pieces I 'perfected' - were discarded once they had served their purpose. My priority (and my teachers') was to develop new skills and move on to new pastures, learn new rep etc. I never performed as a student.

Now that my student years are far behind me and I'm performing regularly, my priorities have changed somewhat. I need to have at my fingertips a selection of memorized pieces which are performance ready at all times, which I keep adding to (a few pieces a year), as I learn new ones. Some of those that I've been playing for years don't need reviewing more than once a month; others that I've only recently learnt need reviewing at least once a week. But I'm still continuing to learn new pieces all the time, though not necessarily for performance purposes - some I'll discard once I've gotten what I wanted out of them, others I might keep playing and improving on for a while, with no thought of ever playing them in public.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#2675332 - 09/14/17 06:18 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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When I was starting out in a career as a pianist in my late teens and early 20s I was never one of those who could just refresh a piece because I was (and am) a psychological disaster area. If I wasn't playing it every day for awhile I wouldn't play it in front of my mother, let alone an audience. It was not a technical problem, all in my head. But I had friends who could just pick something up a few days before that they used to play and give credible performances. My current teacher is like that. Everybody is different.

#2675338 - 09/14/17 06:44 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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"Why would your efforts go to waste if you don't maintain old pieces" you ask? Well I play piano because I want to be able to play music, and a lot of it at that. My priority isn't just to just develop technique. I actually want to be able to play all the pieces I enjoy listening to. And if I don't maintain my repetoire, then what's the point of learning any piece, if you're not even going to bother remembering it. According to your logic it's ok to just keep going on without so much as a glance at what you learned before. I'm sorry, but I don't see exactly what your point in practicing is if you don't care about the pieces you learned before, but I play because I want to learn to play a plethora of music and remember that music. And I'm not some piano god who can just pick up a piece after after just 2 plays after months of not doing it.

Also you claim I could be using that time to learn new repetoire is the best use of time, but I beg to differ. It is NOT the best use of time FOR ME becautse I want to know a lot of pieces not just the new ones I am working on. Your priorities might be different, but do think to look through other people's shoes once in a while. Thank you and good bye.

Last edited by AviChak; 09/14/17 06:47 PM.
#2675346 - 09/14/17 07:14 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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Your feelings about this issue at age 20 will probably be different than your feelings about it at age 70 (trust me ha).

Just curious - when you talk about "remembering" music - do you mean playing pieces in your repertoire by memory - or from the score?


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#2675349 - 09/14/17 07:20 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: Carey]  
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Originally Posted by Carey
Your feelings about this issue at age 20 will probably be different than your feelings about it at age 70 (trust me ha).




Lol Carey, that's not my age. I do appreciate your concern though.

By remembering, I mean like learning pieces I played before back when I had teachers, but forgot over time. As I said, my goal as a musician is to be able to play all the music I enjoy playing and listening to. As for when I'm 70, we shall see. Only time can tell us that smile

#2675353 - 09/14/17 07:39 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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Originally Posted by AviChak
"Why would your efforts go to waste if you don't maintain old pieces" you ask? Well I play piano because I want to be able to play music, and a lot of it at that. My priority isn't just to just develop technique. I actually want to be able to play all the pieces I enjoy listening to. And if I don't maintain my repetoire, then what's the point of learning any piece, if you're not even going to bother remembering it. According to your logic it's ok to just keep going on without so much as a glance at what you learned before. I'm sorry, but I don't see exactly what your point in practicing is if you don't care about the pieces you learned before, but I play because I want to learn to play a plethora of music and remember that music. And I'm not some piano god who can just pick up a piece after after just 2 plays after months of not doing it.

Also you claim I could be using that time to learn new repetoire is the best use of time, but I beg to differ. It is NOT the best use of time FOR ME because I want to know a lot of pieces not just the new ones I am working on. Your priorities might be different, but do think to look through other people's shoes once in a while. Thank you and good bye.
Without addressing several of your ideas I don't agree with, just the logistics of what you want to do will soon become impossible. If you spend 2-3 hours/day reviewing your present rep what will you do when your rep is two or five times as large?

#2675355 - 09/14/17 07:46 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by AviChak
"Why would your efforts go to waste if you don't maintain old pieces" you ask? Well I play piano because I want to be able to play music, and a lot of it at that. My priority isn't just to just develop technique. I actually want to be able to play all the pieces I enjoy listening to. And if I don't maintain my repetoire, then what's the point of learning any piece, if you're not even going to bother remembering it. According to your logic it's ok to just keep going on without so much as a glance at what you learned before. I'm sorry, but I don't see exactly what your point in practicing is if you don't care about the pieces you learned before, but I play because I want to learn to play a plethora of music and remember that music. And I'm not some piano god who can just pick up a piece after after just 2 plays after months of not doing it.

Also you claim I could be using that time to learn new repetoire is the best use of time, but I beg to differ. It is NOT the best use of time FOR ME because I want to know a lot of pieces not just the new ones I am working on. Your priorities might be different, but do think to look through other people's shoes once in a while. Thank you and good bye.
Without addressing several of your ideas I don't agree with, just the logistics of what you want to do will soon become impossible. If you spend 2-3 hours/day reviewing your present rep what will you do when your rep is two or five times as large?


Nowhere did I say I wanted to practice every single day. If you read the post carefully, I explicitly said "I'm pretty sure every single day is an overkill". I said my practice routine is 2-3 hours a day usually, but I never said anything about using all that time everyday just to go through repetoire. If I did that, I wouldn't have my list of pieces

Originally Posted by AviChak
After I go back and bring them all back up to par, I'm obviously going to continue to regularly practice them so that I don't forget. However, how often would you recommend I go through repertoire? I'm pretty sure every single day is an overkill, but once a week seems like it might not be enough. And my list of pieces that I learned is growing way faster than previously expected(I'm learning a mix of old classical pieces I played and new ones I haven't. Boy did I learn a lot back in the day!). What should I do once the list starts to get really big and how should I go about splitting up the repertoire?


I just need productive answers like the one dogperson very kindly gave to me to help me pace myself better. Hope you can understand the intent of the post now.

Last edited by AviChak; 09/14/17 08:20 PM.
#2675359 - 09/14/17 07:57 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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Originally Posted by AviChak
Originally Posted by Carey
Your feelings about this issue at age 20 will probably be different than your feelings about it at age 70 (trust me ha).




Lol Carey, that's not my age. I do appreciate your concern though.

By remembering, I mean like learning pieces I played before back when I had teachers, but forgot over time. As I said, my goal as a musician is to be able to play all the music I enjoy playing and listening to. As for when I'm 70, we shall see. Only time can tell us that smile


You mentioned your "busy college schedule" so I just assumed......incorrectly it appears. ha

At 70 I sometimes have trouble remembering that I was working on a specific piece only a month ago. Apparently I get easily distracted. ha But picking it up again is no big deal., and eventually I get it learned - and recorded - so I can say "I played it" and move on to something new. Resurrecting old pieces usually isn't a problem for me (even stuff from 50 years ago) - unless they are incredibly difficult and require starting from scratch - in which case I usually opt to rest on my laurels and work on something easier. smile


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#2675360 - 09/14/17 08:11 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: Carey]  
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Well, with all due respect of course my friend, but people's conditions can vary greatly at that age depending on how they lived their life. You seem to be doing very good and I'm happy for you! But alas, if we all knew what would happen in the future, wouldn't our current lives be so much more different? It's what we do in youth that shapes our future wink

Last edited by AviChak; 09/14/17 08:19 PM.
#2675389 - 09/14/17 11:59 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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I commend you for maintaining a regular practice schedule. That should definitely help you achieve your goals. It wouldn't be unreasonable to play at least two of your finished pieces on a daily basis. That way, in the course of a week you'll manage to play everything at least once, and you'll still have time to learn new repertoire as well.

Also, you may be surprised how well you can remember and whip a piece back into shape if you haven't played it for awhile - even after several years (I do it all the time !! ) .

As for the age thing.......what we do in our youth definitely shapes our future. Good genes, a good attitude and good luck also play a big part. ha

Glad to hear that you're working on the Pathetique 2nd movement. From 1960 to 2000, there was a distinguished gentleman named Karl Haas who hosted a public radio program called Adventures in Good Music. The Pathetique 2nd movement (played by Haas himself) was the show's theme song !! Definitely a good stand alone piece to have in your repertoire.


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#2675469 - 09/15/17 10:26 AM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
. If you spend 2-3 hours/day reviewing your present rep what will you do when your rep is two or five times as large?


I've known players who know literally thousands of different songs, and could theoretically play non-stop for two or three days without running out of material. Maintaining that memory takes less time and effort per piece because playing that much music changes the way your brain works. Music seems to get into the parts of the brain that usually deal with language -- at least that's my guess.

There are studies that have been done on London cab drivers, who are required to memorize the whole city to get a license. The part of their brain that physically contains memory has been scanned, and it very clearly grows.


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#2675473 - 09/15/17 10:38 AM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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Regarding maintaining repertoire - I actually asked my teacher (professional concert pianist) the same question because I found myself not being able to play at the same level (not even close) for the same pieces I performed from memory just a few months ago. This is extremely frustrating because I spent months learning these pieces, memorizing them and performing them with decent results. Here is her responses:

1. I am not the only one with this problem. Actually most people do - professional or amateur. My teacher admits she also has the same issues especially as she gets older.

2. She told me not to worry too much about it. If we spent so much time earlier learning and memorizing a piece, it's still somewhere in our brain. We might sound rusty when we go back to the music for the first time after a long break. With some practices it should come back quickly - much faster than learning the piece from scratch again. She also reminded me that when I performed a piece from memory, that means it has been much longer since last time I read the music for the same piece.

3. For amateur pianists (like OP and myself), she said the better strategy is pick a 3-4 pieces (15-20 minutes total) and get them into our practice routine. These pieces can be used for social gathering or unexpected moment where there is a piano. They are also a nice break from learning new repertoire. I try to designate 1 day a week only playing through these pieces. Trying to maintain ALL pieces under our fingers does not seem realistic anymore.


True Story: On my recent trip, there was a piano and I was put on the spot in front of the piano by the group. I sat down and played Liszt Libestraum. It is a familiar piece to most people plus we were in Hungary so it was appropriate. I had no warm up, no prep, and no music. Piano was terrible too. I missed a few notes during the cadenza and I had to fake 1-2 measure due to memory lapse on left hand but it did not matter. People went crazy! I became the "star" for the rest of the trip. I feel all the lessons and practices paid off LOL.

#2675491 - 09/15/17 11:28 AM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: AviChak]  
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Enter a competition, by doing so, it will give you a direction. You will spend your time mastering the pieces that you want to use for the competition.
I found this is very very fun activity!

#2675499 - 09/15/17 11:51 AM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: JohnSprung]  
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
. If you spend 2-3 hours/day reviewing your present rep what will you do when your rep is two or five times as large?


I've known players who know literally thousands of different songs, and could theoretically play non-stop for two or three days without running out of material. Maintaining that memory takes less time and effort per piece because playing that much music changes the way your brain works. Music seems to get into the parts of the brain that usually deal with language -- at least that's my guess.
My guess is you are talking about non-classical pianists who can play by ear or only need to memorize the chord changes. I don't think many classical pianists could do that and certainly not be able to play thousands of pieces at their performance level. And I'm virtually 100% sure the OP can't do this.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 09/15/17 11:52 AM.
#2675500 - 09/15/17 11:55 AM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: Midlife_Piano]  
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Originally Posted by Midlife_Piano
3. For amateur pianists (like OP and myself), she said the better strategy is pick a 3-4 pieces (15-20 minutes total) and get them into our practice routine. These pieces can be used for social gathering or unexpected moment where there is a piano. They are also a nice break from learning new repertoire. I try to designate 1 day a week only playing through these pieces. Trying to maintain ALL pieces under our fingers does not seem realistic anymore.
Yes, this makes sense and is realistic.

#2675523 - 09/15/17 02:11 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
. If you spend 2-3 hours/day reviewing your present rep what will you do when your rep is two or five times as large?


I've known players who know literally thousands of different songs, and could theoretically play non-stop for two or three days without running out of material. Maintaining that memory takes less time and effort per piece because playing that much music changes the way your brain works. Music seems to get into the parts of the brain that usually deal with language -- at least that's my guess.
My guess is you are talking about non-classical pianists who can play by ear or only need to memorize the chord changes.

Chord changes in pop songs don't even require memorization - the vast majority can be played by ear, as long as you're familiar with the song.

The last time I accompanied friends singing pop songs around the piano, as long as I 'knew' the song (even if I haven't heard it since I was a kid, like many Beatles and ABBA and Simon & Garfunkel and Bee Gees songs - and I certainly don't remember most of the lyrics), I could improvise the whole song and/or accompaniment, because I could 'hear' the harmony in my head, as well as play the tune if need be.

With classical, you're talking the exact notes, phrasing, dynamics, articulation, voicing etc, etc......in both hands. Definitely a whole different ball game.

In the past six years or so (i.e. since I had my own piano), I managed to memorize some ninety minutes of classical pieces. Recently, I performed all of them from memory one after the other, non-stop - once a day, for two weeks......with at least a couple of memory lapses each time (in different pieces on different days). Most occurred in slow music, rather than fast music with lots of notes whizzing past, which confirms my belief that muscle memory is the most secure of all, at least for me. I think I may have reached my memory limit in my old age cry.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#2675570 - 09/15/17 07:06 PM Re: How Often Should I Practice Repetoire? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[]My guess is you are talking about non-classical pianists who can play by ear or only need to memorize the chord changes.


Yes, and they don't even need to memorize chord changes. They know the melodies and can play them as readily as they could hum or sing them. The keyboard is as natural to them as their own voice, which is why I think it may be that the language area of the brain might be what they use. They create the changes on the fly, and can harmonize most songs a few different ways. (It's only with bands that they need to stick to the chart changes, to not train wreck it.)


-- J.S.

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