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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Hendrik42] #2709457
01/28/18 12:00 PM
01/28/18 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Hendrik42
Practice while waiting for something to cook, I do that! And I am fully convinced that it makes a difference!


I must not do that...you don't know how many times I have ruined the food or caused a fire alarm because I went to "just do something else quickly" while cooking...I lack inner sense of time completely grin

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2709467
01/28/18 12:35 PM
01/28/18 12:35 PM
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Alright. Took it off. I see what you all meant. Still, the concept of holding down a single finger and working the other fingers independently did actually help me with what I am playing right now. And my hands are still intact.

Last edited by pianopi; 01/28/18 09:26 PM.

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: pianopi] #2709474
01/28/18 01:19 PM
01/28/18 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by pianopi
Here's something you can do in those discovered 5 minutes:
URL of questionable video, imho

The very first thing any adult student reading this should do is e-mail his or her teacher the link. Their teacher will probably tell them not to touch it with a ten foot pole, and maybe "Wait until our next lesson and I'll show you how this should be done if ever at all, and why it's wrong." I'm rather sure that this is what I'd hear.
The OP has a teacher, is doing grade 7 RCM material at the moment, her teacher is pleased with her work and wonders how that can be (which is typical of serious students who want to do their best), and is trying to find time for things that have already been assigned. Why would she want to add even more things?
That particular exercise has some controversy behind it, but if it is taught at all, it should be taught well. We don't even see that person's wrists. He is pressing down on particular fingers in a strained manner. I could see imitating this as leading to injury.

Your other post - which I desisted responding to - paints lazy students coming to lessons to be entertained, rather than students who if anything work too hard. Each of the adult students who wrote into this thread can be designated as seriously committed, and working seriously with their teachers and then at home in practising.

If you're going to talk about "those 5 minutes" at all, then it could be in the context of what they have been assigned and are working on. If it's a piece, then that piece can be divided into sections, and elements in any section can be isolated and practised. Physical motions are probably part of that. It is probably not something as simple as "learning notes in a piece" - 2 measures a day - though it might be that too.

Last edited by keystring; 01/28/18 02:25 PM. Reason: should to could, last par.
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: pianopi] #2709475
01/28/18 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by pianopi
Here's something you can do in those discovered 5 minutes:

Just me, but whenever I do finger exercises I try to do them with careful assesment of why and how (+reviewing in my head all the advice from my teacher) and 5 minutes is not enough for that. It's as much mental as physical exercise.

To be honest, I have a hard time imagining anything useful for me to do in 5 minutes only because I would usually spend at least 10 to 15 minutes on one practice task before feeling it's enough for now and I am ready to move on to something else. Having to leave things too early makes me extremely frustrated. But maybe I am just slow smile

Last edited by outo; 01/28/18 01:27 PM.
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2709477
01/28/18 01:27 PM
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In regards to the "5 minute" thing - it is a powerful way of doing things that blew me away when I learned of it, and turned part of my world upside down. It doesn't have to be literally 5 minutes. If you work on a smaller thing for a short time with your full concentration and awareness in all your sense, and then let go, it will "keep on doing its thing" within your mind and nervous system while you do other things. If you try to force it in through more continual practice, you may actually interfere with the process. The key is repetition. Look how infants learn by doing the same thing --- learning to sit, fall over, learn to sit, fall over ---- in short bursts.

On a less busy day you could aim for several things in a longer practice period (30 - 45 min.), cycling between them, and have a couple of these.

My work hours vary in an insane way since I am self-employed. I've had some periods of days with just enough sleep. At those times I might pass the piano and aim for four beats of notes in a measure of new music, just so I've done something. Over several days, four beats become 16 and you're further than you were. That makes it less demoralizing to not be able to get to your instrument as you would like.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: keystring] #2709486
01/28/18 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by pianopi
Here's something you can do in those discovered 5 minutes:
URL of questionable video, imho

That particular exercise has some controversy behind it, but if it is taught at all, it should be taught well. We don't even see that person's wrists. He is pressing down on particular fingers in a strained manner. I could see imitating this as leading to injury.


No kidding! Looks like he's practicing to have more tension rather than less.


Enough is as good as a feast.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: malkin] #2709541
01/28/18 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by pianopi
Here's something you can do in those discovered 5 minutes:

Sure. Great, if you want to damage your hands.

Students, please do NOT do this.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: pianopi] #2709547
01/28/18 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pianopi

See practicing like brushing your teeth. Mostly a chore, but it has to be done daily, and you feel tons better for doing it.

That doesn't work for long.

People eventually quit doing anything that is not interesting.

Ask yourself why people play games, and don't want to:

1. Stop to eat.
2. Stop to sleep.
3. Stop long enough to go to the bathroom.

The answer: because they are fully engaged in what they are doing. This does not mean that every minute is fun, because people swear at games. They get angry when they can't "beat the level". But the either don't stop or keep coming back.

Games are addictive. You say this is a positive or negative addiction, but it is an addition. Playing games.

All the successful players I know feel the same way about music. That's why they continue.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: outo] #2709608
01/28/18 08:55 PM
01/28/18 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by pianopi
Here's something you can do in those discovered 5 minutes:


pianopi... appreciate your suggestion, but whatever you do don't follow the video. The person in the video has no clue what he is doing. It looks very bad and very wrong.


Originally Posted by outo
To be honest, I have a hard time imagining anything useful for me to do in 5 minutes only because I would usually spend at least 10 to 15 minutes on one practice task before feeling it's enough for now and I am ready to move on to something else.


I'm the same way... definitely need more than 5 minute here and there. I think just scales, chord, arpeggios, major and diminished 7th... for one key and its related minors would use up 15 minutes for me at least. That's before I start practicing anything, really.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2709613
01/28/18 09:12 PM
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I often fill the odd 5-10 min. with a little Edna Mae Burnam or the odd tricky measure or two.

It helps, but it isn't sufficient.


Enough is as good as a feast.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2709620
01/28/18 09:35 PM
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I tend to agree with Gary. What I remember about my first years when starting to play is the feeling of being addicted to practice (=learn) my music on the piano. The addiction was helpful in overcoming the frustration on what felt like slow progress. I still felt lazy to get up and go to the piano sometimes and used the "I'll just do one measure" -trick to overcome that. But every time I got sucked in and forgot the time and did not want to stop. So I never actually did just 5 min at the time regardless of having other things to do. I really needed to have enough time dedicated for the piano to progress. And I was fortunate to be able to take it from things that were not obligatory.

It was very important for me not to think about piano as a chore because I tend to do my best to avoid those. So when I stopped being interested I changed what I worked on instead of starting to avoid or force practice. Some might see this as lack of dedication and in a way it is, but only to the material, not the learning process.

But I am not saying everyone is like that. I don't know if it's because they cannot get addicted to "work" in general or if they just have not found their passion yet.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: keystring] #2709632
01/28/18 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
In regards to the "5 minute" thing - it is a powerful way of doing things that blew me away when I learned of it, and turned part of my world upside down. It doesn't have to be literally 5 minutes. If you work on a smaller thing for a short time with your full concentration and awareness in all your sense, and then let go, it will "keep on doing its thing" within your mind and nervous system while you do other things. If you try to force it in through more continual practice, you may actually interfere with the process. The key is repetition. Look how infants learn by doing the same thing --- learning to sit, fall over, learn to sit, fall over ---- in short bursts.


For me, this is the interesting part: small task, repetition, isolated or brought into relief by only practicing that specific task at one sitting. Then go think about it.

I enjoy long practice (and playing) sessions too. I'm retired and have the time--but sometimes I don't and then I want efficiency.

Originally Posted by rocket88
The key is to take one small thing...a short phrase, a chord change with the left hand, something very small, and practice it very slowly and deliberately for say 10X.

Thats it. Then walk away. Takes maybe literally 1 - 2 minutes.

Such practice is great because you are doing only one thing. No warm-ups, no scales, no arpeggios, no multiple pieces, no already learned repertoire, no new material, no sight-reading practice...nothing but one thing. One thing to focus on, one thing to remember, one thing to digest. One thing rather than dozens of things typical in a practice session.

The brain likes that, and you will find that it supercharges the learning of that section.



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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: pianopi] #2710008
01/30/18 06:52 AM
01/30/18 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pianopi
And my hands are still intact.

Are you positive about that?

Do you teach piano?


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: pianopi] #2710009
01/30/18 07:41 AM
01/30/18 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by pianopi
I am not saying 5 minutes a day is an ideal length of practice time. But it is a happy improvement over not practicing at all.

See practicing like brushing your teeth. Mostly a chore, but it has to be done daily, and you feel tons better for doing it.


If I saw practice as a chore, I would stop playing. Although I do see practice as preparation for a specific goal, I also see it (and, frankly, have to see it) as an end in itself.

I accept that five minutes a day is an improvement in piano practice over not practicing at all. But, if you have a hectic life with many calls on your time, is five minutes' practice an improvement over, for example, explaining the difference between covalent and ionic bonds to your kids who have chemistry exams? Or whatever?

To be honest, it takes longer than five minutes for my aging hands to warm up enough for practice to be rewarding at all. I tried it this morning on a fiddly piece of Brahms I'm working on, whilst waiting for a telephone call. It felt like I was playing with five pork sausages on each hand.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: kevinb] #2710013
01/30/18 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by kevinb

To be honest, it takes longer than five minutes for my aging hands to warm up enough for practice to be rewarding at all.


These "tiny practice" sessions have much more to do with super-focus upon one small thing rather than a full-blown practice session that begins with warm-ups, then on to practicing perhaps numerous different things.

As such, it is more for the learning and memory retention of a small thing rather than many things.

And it should be done extremely slow, which essentially precludes the need for warming up.

A minute spent playing one very short phrase at, for example, one note every 3 - 5 seconds, making sure to relax between notes, thinking deeply about what is happening in the music, about your body posture, about the sound being created, etc, is great for the memory and understanding of that phrase; At that tempo, it requires no warming up.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Gary D.] #2710014
01/30/18 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.

The answer: because they are fully engaged in what they are doing. This does not mean that every minute is fun, because people swear at games. They get angry when they can't "beat the level". But the either don't stop or keep coming back.

Games are addictive. You say this is a positive or negative addiction, but it is an addition. Playing games.

All the successful players I know feel the same way about music. That's why they continue.


Yes.

I'm pretty sure we could figure a way to teach games so that they DID become a painful chore instead of addictive fun.

I fear sometimes we've taught music that way.

For sure we teach chemistry and math that way.


gotta go practice
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2710022
01/30/18 08:49 AM
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If humans practiced anything only, and only, if practicing was enjoyable, we'd still be living in caves. Or more likely, extinct. Eaten by life forms which can see the bigger picture (survival of the species, for example).

A lot of what I had to practice as a kid - restricting myself to music & piano - wasn't enjoyable. Scales & arpeggios, a lot of boring repetitive stuff to get my fingers doing things they'd never done in their short lives, over & under etc, etc. And learning pieces I didn't care for but which my teacher felt was required to progress (& sometimes required for my exams) - basically, anything polyphonic or impressionistic or with no obvious tunes or with tricky rhythms or just abrasive. All of which was why I was able to go as far as I did, and the same applied to my fellow music students too.

Or to put it another way, there's very little that's worthwhile in this world that doesn't require some 'boring' practice or even plain drudgery. Ask any Olympic athlete. Or even any current living virtuoso - on any instrument.


"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."
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: bennevis] #2710027
01/30/18 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Or to put it another way, there's very little that's worthwhile in this world that doesn't require some 'boring' practice or even plain drudgery. Ask any Olympic athlete. Or even any current living virtuoso - on any instrument.


This may be off-topic, but I think there's a difference between "requiring effort that is not immediately satisfying" and "chore." I think of a chore as something that has to be done, and will have to be done again. And again. No long-term benefit is achieve by anything I think of as a "chore." However well I sweep the floor today, and however often, it will still need sweeping tomorrow.

I don't see my practice as something that just has to be done. I expect to get something out of it, every time I practice. It may be that what I get is a tiny, almost immeasurable increment in improvement in some aspect of technique, but it's still there.

What I find dispiriting is practice that really is a chore. That is, practice where I just beat on the keyboard for hours, and don't detect any benefit at all. I don't think I could tolerate many practice sessions like that, before I decided that I could find something better to do with my time.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: bennevis] #2710115
01/30/18 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis

A lot of what I had to practice as a kid - restricting myself to music & piano - wasn't enjoyable. Scales & arpeggios, a lot of boring repetitive stuff to get my fingers doing things they'd never done in their short lives, over & under etc, etc. And learning pieces I didn't care for but which my teacher felt was required to progress (& sometimes required for my exams) - basically, anything polyphonic or impressionistic or with no obvious tunes or with tricky rhythms or just abrasive. All of which was why I was able to go as far as I did, and the same applied to my fellow music students too.

So you think that was the ONLY way to get somewhere? Because it's all you know maybe? People find differeny things enjoyable you know, some more usefull than others...

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: outo] #2710140
01/30/18 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by bennevis

A lot of what I had to practice as a kid - restricting myself to music & piano - wasn't enjoyable. Scales & arpeggios, a lot of boring repetitive stuff to get my fingers doing things they'd never done in their short lives, over & under etc, etc. And learning pieces I didn't care for but which my teacher felt was required to progress (& sometimes required for my exams) - basically, anything polyphonic or impressionistic or with no obvious tunes or with tricky rhythms or just abrasive. All of which was why I was able to go as far as I did, and the same applied to my fellow music students too.

So you think that was the ONLY way to get somewhere? Because it's all you know maybe? People find differeny things enjoyable you know, some more usefull than others...

Bennevis has described his personal "twisted path".

We all achieve whatever success we get by following the best path we can find. That does not mean that the path we followed was the best, only that it worked.

I had dreadful teaching until I finally got a great teacher in the last few years of my studies. That dreadful teaching made me work out a lot of problems for myself. It has probably made me a more "out of the box thinker", perhaps a better musician than I would have been otherwise.

Maybe.

But that was my path. I don't have another story to tell.


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