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Holly's Practice Diary #2806229 01/24/19 08:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 148
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HollyBytheLake Offline OP
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I keep a yearly list of goals, a spreadsheet that breaks these goals down to a monthly timeline, a weekly spreadsheet of the week’s work and a daily handwritten notebook set up the night before to check off the next day’s practice goals by piece as I go. What I haven’t had, until now, is a place to “think out loud”, about the music, about what’s working with my practice, or not. That sort of thing. So this will be that “diary” of music practice. I don’t expect to track every single day’s practice, but I do want to track at least one day a week in its entirety. If nothing else, I’ll have a record of how my practice changes. I plan to record the details of that day’s practice, thoughts about the pieces, snarky whining on occasion…

I personally love forums that get into teaching styles, practice suggestions and especially the ones like FOYD and “Nothing is too easy” by Kesolo. Speaking of Kesolo, that’s a journey I envy immensely. I don’t have a teacher though and a track record of quitting what I’m told to do, and his method relies somewhat on his teacher giving a lot of feedback on appropriateness of material. That aside, kudos dude, kudos.

As for where I’m starting. I had 2 very lame years as a child. 6 months in my 20s with a teacher. 6 months in my 30s with a different teacher. In my late 40s plunked my way through Alfred Adult Vol. 1 in 2015 and 2016 with NO serious practice. Did not play at all late 2016 to summer 2018.

Since July 2018 I’ve worked through 25-30 pieces of Beginner level and I’m almost done with Piano Adventures 2. Also working in Mikrokosmos, Czerny, Alfred’s Essential Repertoire and RCM Level 1 materials as well as watching video classes on PianoTV.net. Did all the pieces on that site’s Prep Level list and met RCM Prep A and B standards, but did not test.

I took guitar for a couple of years and flute for 6 very intense years, year round. Just to let you know my sight reading skills, at least in the treble clef, are not those of the average first time music student.

Starting Level 1 material for 2019.

Lifetime I have about 180 hours of practice time with the piano.

Thursdays are the start of my piano work week. Sessions don't always get done in one sit down.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

SESSION 1: (1 hr. 6 minutes total)
Technique: Pp. From Unit 14 Faber 2. Arpeggios. BORING. After four minutes I switched over to Scales Bootcamp and got a rhythm and an articulation checked off for D-maj. (10 minutes)

Faber 2: NEW - Wedding March, Mendelssohn. Listened to it with the score last night. Wondering what the dotted lines between treble and bass notes in mm. 14-15 are all about? Also, it tickles me that it’s from a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. My kids were in a theater company growing up and performed this numerous times, but never with this music. This morning worked HS, sectioned it, and got those sections to 40 bpm HT. (15 minutes)

Alfred’s Essential Repertoire: Beethoven’s Russian Folk Song pg. 70. This was the second session for this piece. Worked sections A (1st 2 lines), B (3rd line) & C (really C&D as I worked the four measures in 2 X 2 mm. units). Each section started HT at 50 and played “3 levels” with each 2-beat increase (3 pennies on a post it pad. Play it right take a penny off. Make an error next time and penny goes back on. Keep on same tempo until all 3 pennies are off the pad) Ended at 60 bpm. Tomorrow I plan to start at 50 again and hope it takes less time, maybe progress past 60 bpm on at least section A. (36 minutes)

Sight Reading: Faber 2B, 1 week’s worth of exercises. (That finished the 2B sight reading book!) RCM Lev. 1 unit 7 days 1&2. (5 minutes) (Yes, that's 7 days of sight reading exercises 5 minutes. Years of flute, years and years of flute...)

SESSION 2: (51 minutes total)
Applied Technique From Unit 14 Faber 2. Lieberstraum. Getting the hang of the arpeggios for each measure, but have a few written in letters under some of the treble measures to remember the clef sharps. (The treble and bass clefs are on two facing pages. Playing them hands together really makes one appreciate the grand staff.) Worked at 50 bpm HT today. Concentrated on last two lines. Good thing I’ve got at least 2 more weeks on this unit to get it up to 100 bpm! (10 minutes)

Mikrokosmos Vol. 1 #23: 1st time through. I’ll take a listen to it at lunch. HS, then HT at 50, progressed to 60 relatively easily. Will start again at 50 tomorrow and try to reach 80. (10 minutes)

Chopin Waltz in A minor (Level 1-2 arrangement by Allysia van Betuw) – Started second week on this piece. Left hand I can easily do at tempo, so I’m working the RH alone to get it to tempo (110 – 130). Section A RH 60>100, Section B 60>100, Section C 40>60, Section D I didn’t use the metronome, I was doing the last two notes of Section C into D to get the little 3 note trill on count 1. Didn’t even touch sections E and F. In my defense I missed 4 days of practice last week so still only being on hands separate isn’t ENTIRELY my enormous lack of talent. (23 minutes)

Faber Review time. For the third session I was back on pg. 66 with this darned Looking Glass River. Previous 2 tries at it have only gotten to 96 bpm when it’s supposed to be 112-120. That’s what I get for sailing past it the first time without getting it to tempo. Fast is NOT my jam, although doing a review piece with an Alberti Bass the same week as arpeggios in my current unit makes me doubt my karma. Anyway, started at 80 bpm and played once or twice at each tick up until 112, the minimum suggested tempo, and called it quits. Not worth the time and effort it would take to work it up to 120. (8 minutes)

SESSION 3 (57 minutes total)
RCM Level 1 Etudes: #2 Etude in C Major, op. 125, no. 3 by Anton Diabelli. I like this little piece. Starting on the second week with it. Sections A&B started each HT 80 and worked up to 100 using “3 Levels” game. Section C I was obviously losing my concentration so started at 60 and skipping 2 or 3 ticks at a time played up to 100. Maybe not so much lack of concentration as patience. Tomorrow I should start with Section C so it gets its due play throughs. (21 minutes)

Faber 2: Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (arranged by N. Faber) – Starting second week with it. Worked Section A 76>108, B 76>116, C 66>96, D 66>100. Next time I’ll probably start A&B at 80 and C&D at 69. Starting each time just that little bit faster as I get sure of what I’m seeing really helps the self-confidence in the piece. But I’ll probably hold the top tempo to 100 for a few sessions to get more comfortable with the F#s that my fingers want to tense up and miss. (13 minutes)
.
Bach Chorale in C maj. (Don’t know if this is in its original form or arranged by Allysia van Betuw. My guess is arranged.) Starting second week with it. Lines 1&2 63>84, Line 3 53>76, Line 4 2 measures at a time 40>60. Little trembly notes sounded MUCH better. Overall sounded significantly smoother. Pleased. (14 minutes)

Minuet in A Minor by Johann Krieger – On its third week and starting to come together. Section A 100>132, Section B 96>132, Section C 96>132. That’s all three sections that can be worked up to max tempo in a rational amount of time. Still starting fairly far off the mark though. Feels smooth enough to pay attention to dynamics and I’ve got 2 more months with it. I like where I am with this as it’s got to be memorized as a “recital” piece for RCM (I don’t sit the exams, but I’ll record it and play it for my mother…more stressful?) (9 minutes)



SESSION 4 (14 minutes)
Faber 2 Theme to Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky, arranged by N. Faber. One thing about the last session of the day is I am invariably DONE with all that is unnecessary. The book suggests this be played moderato, which my reference books list as 100-120. I have struggled for a month to play it at that tempo. I LOVE it at 80. It’s graceful and sweeping, dignified at 80. It’s muddy, frantic and completely uncharming at 100. I can’t imagine the horrors I would inflict upon it at 120. Looking all over for performances online I’ve not found one that is racing to the finish. Everyone seems to be playing it well under 100. I’m going to record it this weekend at 80 and set it aside. In the future it will pop up in my Faber Review time as all things do, probably 2-3 months from now. Hopefully my pedaling skills will have improved enough to do justice to the suggested tempo, but I’ve got to say I just don’t LIKE it that fast. (4 minutes, see? No patience for what it unnecessary)

Driving Range, C. Norton – Please, God, let it end. I’ve been working this thing on and off for nearly 5 weeks. It was cute at first. Now, not so much. Today, thankfully, I got it to the 152 bpm with the dynamics intact, starting at 132, which I’m more than pleased with. A couple of days to solidify it and I’ll record it. (10 minutes)

Czerny #11 – This got skipped today. It happens some days. The concentration just isn’t there for everything in the last session of the day. The thought of working this little exercise at anything resembling a brisk tempo is more effort than I want to expend after 3 hours of practice already today. In an hour or so I’ll feel like going through my meager repertoire, but not something I have to “work” at. (0 minutes)


SESSION 5 Repertoire Maintenance (10-15 minutes, I don’t usually time it) 2 times each with the music, 1 x without. These piece have been memorized for a while.

Intro to Fur Elise – Beethoven; this was memorized before I was doing serious metronome work, or had the standards for my pieces that I do now. I like to play it now at about 80 working on smoothing it out before I advance the speed some more.

Bourree in E minor – L. Mozart; I LOVE this little piece. It’s frisky and I like to pretend I’m four-year old Mozart zipping through it with a cocky little tilt to his head and a smirk on his lips…

Rainbow Connection – Paul Williams – Okay this was the first piece I ever memorized. I chose it because it’s the lullaby I sang to my babies a couple of decades ago, so I knew I would never tire of it. Also, it’s frankly unintimidating compared to the baroque, classical and romantic music I generally prefer.


Today the sessions went 1,2,3,4,5. Tomorrow I’ll do 4,1,2,3,5. The next day 3,4,1,3,5 and so forth. I do that to make sure each grouping of work gets its turn being first of the day or last of the day. The groupings have a mix of technique, new and more polished or easy items and sources. Session 5 is always last. Just for fun at the end of the day you might say. My work schedule doesn’t let me practice on Fridays. On Saturday and Sunday family obligations limit me to doing 2 sessions each day, so I get through the whole shebang over the course of the weekend. Mon-Thu I try for what I did today along with a couple of pages of theory and 5-10 minutes of ear training with the online RCM Level 1 program.

If anyone got to the bottom of this…wow. Thanks.

Last edited by HollyBytheLake; 01/24/19 08:44 PM.

but think how good I could be in five years...
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Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806231 01/24/19 08:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,305
NobleHouse Online Content
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Originally Posted by HollyBytheLake

I keep a yearly list of goals, a spreadsheet that breaks these goals down to a monthly timeline, a weekly spreadsheet of the week’s work and a daily handwritten notebook set up the night before to check off the next day’s practice goals by piece as I go. What I haven’t had, until now, is a place to “think out loud”, about the music, about what’s working with my practice, or not. That sort of thing. So this will be that “diary” of music practice. I don’t expect to track every single day’s practice, but I do want to track at least one day a week in its entirety. If nothing else, I’ll have a record of how my practice changes. I plan to record the details of that day’s practice, thoughts about the pieces, snarky whining on occasion…

I personally love forums that get into teaching styles, practice suggestions and especially the ones like FOYD and “Nothing is too easy” by Kesolo. Speaking of Kesolo, that’s a journey I envy immensely. I don’t have a teacher though and a track record of quitting what I’m told to do, and his method relies somewhat on his teacher giving a lot of feedback on appropriateness of material. That aside, kudos dude, kudos.

As for where I’m starting. I had 2 very lame years as a child. 6 months in my 20s with a teacher. 6 months in my 30s with a different teacher. In my late 40s plunked my way through Alfred Adult Vol. 1 in 2015 and 2016 with NO serious practice. Did not play at all late 2016 to summer 2018.

Since July 2018 I’ve worked through 25-30 pieces of Beginner level and I’m almost done with Piano Adventures 2. Also working in Mikrokosmos, Czerny, Alfred’s Essential Repertoire and RCM Level 1 materials as well as watching video classes on PianoTV.net. Did all the pieces on that site’s Prep Level list and met RCM Prep A and B standards, but did not test.

I took guitar for a couple of years and flute for 6 very intense years, year round. Just to let you know my sight reading skills, at least in the treble clef, are not those of the average first time music student.

Starting Level 1 material for 2019.

Lifetime I have about 180 hours of practice time with the piano.

Thursdays are the start of my piano work week. Sessions don't always get done in one sit down.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

SESSION 1: (1 hr. 6 minutes total)
Technique: Pp. From Unit 14 Faber 2. Arpeggios. BORING. After four minutes I switched over to Scales Bootcamp and got a rhythm and an articulation checked off for D-maj. (10 minutes)

Faber 2: NEW - Wedding March, Mendelssohn. Listened to it with the score last night. Wondering what the dotted lines between treble and bass notes in mm. 14-15 are all about? Also, it tickles me that it’s from a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. My kids were in a theater company growing up and performed this numerous times, but never with this music. This morning worked HS, sectioned it, and got those sections to 40 bpm HT. (15 minutes)

Alfred’s Essential Repertoire: Beethoven’s Russian Folk Song pg. 70. This was the second session for this piece. Worked sections A (1st 2 lines), B (3rd line) & C (really C&D as I worked the four measures in 2 X 2 mm. units). Each section started HT at 50 and played “3 levels” with each 2-beat increase (3 pennies on a post it pad. Play it right take a penny off. Make an error next time and penny goes back on. Keep on same tempo until all 3 pennies are off the pad) Ended at 60 bpm. Tomorrow I plan to start at 50 again and hope it takes less time, maybe progress past 60 bpm on at least section A. (36 minutes)

Sight Reading: Faber 2B, 1 week’s worth of exercises. (That finished the 2B sight reading book!) RCM Lev. 1 unit 7 days 1&2. (5 minutes)

SESSION 2: (51 minutes total)
Applied Technique From Unit 14 Faber 2. Lieberstraum. Getting the hang of the arpeggios for each measure, but have a few written in letters under some of the treble measures to remember the clef sharps. (The treble and bass clefs are on two facing pages. Playing them hands together really makes one appreciate the grand staff.) Worked at 50 bpm HT today. Concentrated on last two lines. Good thing I’ve got at least 2 more weeks on this unit to get it up to 100 bpm! (10 minutes)

Mikrokosmos Vol. 1 #23: 1st time through. I’ll take a listen to it at lunch. HS, then HT at 50, progressed to 60 relatively easily. Will start again at 50 tomorrow and try to reach 80. (10 minutes)

Chopin Waltz in A minor (Level 1-2 arrangement by Allysia van Betuw) – Started second week on this piece. Left hand I can easily do at tempo, so I’m working the RH alone to get it to tempo (110 – 130). Section A RH 60>100, Section B 60>100, Section C 40>60, Section D I didn’t use the metronome, I was doing the last two notes of Section C into D to get the little 3 note trill on count 1. Didn’t even touch sections E and F. In my defense I missed 4 days of practice last week so still only being on hands separate isn’t ENTIRELY my enormous lack of talent. (23 minutes)

Faber Review time. For the third session I was back on pg. 66 with this darned Looking Glass River. Previous 2 tries at it have only gotten to 96 bpm when it’s supposed to be 112-120. That’s what I get for sailing past it the first time without getting it to tempo. Fast is NOT my jam, although doing a review piece with an Alberti Bass the same week as arpeggios in my current unit makes me doubt my karma. Anyway, started at 80 bpm and played once or twice at each tick up until 112, the minimum suggested tempo, and called it quits. Not worth the time and effort it would take to work it up to 120. (8 minutes)

SESSION 3 (57 minutes total)
RCM Level 1 Etudes: #2 Etude in C Major, op. 125, no. 3 by Anton Diabelli. I like this little piece. Starting on the second week with it. Sections A&B started each HT 80 and worked up to 100 using “3 Levels” game. Section C I was obviously losing my concentration so started at 60 and skipping 2 or 3 ticks at a time played up to 100. Maybe not so much lack of concentration as patience. Tomorrow I should start with Section C so it gets its due play throughs. (21 minutes)

Faber 2: Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (arranged by N. Faber) – Starting second week with it. Worked Section A 76>108, B 76>116, C 66>96, D 66>100. Next time I’ll probably start A&B at 80 and C&D at 69. Starting each time just that little bit faster as I get sure of what I’m seeing really helps the self-confidence in the piece. But I’ll probably hold the top tempo to 100 for a few sessions to get more comfortable with the F#s that my fingers want to tense up and miss. (13 minutes)
.
Bach Chorale in C maj. (Don’t know if this is in its original form or arranged by Allysia van Betuw. My guess is arranged.) Starting second week with it. Lines 1&2 63>84, Line 3 53>76, Line 4 2 measures at a time 40>60. Little trembly notes sounded MUCH better. Overall sounded significantly smoother. Pleased. (14 minutes)

Minuet in A Minor by Johann Krieger – On its third week and starting to come together. Section A 100>132, Section B 96>132, Section C 96>132. That’s all three sections that can be worked up to max tempo in a rational amount of time. Still starting fairly far off the mark though. Feels smooth enough to pay attention to dynamics and I’ve got 2 more months with it. I like where I am with this as it’s got to be memorized as a “recital” piece for RCM (I don’t sit the exams, but I’ll record it and play it for my mother…more stressful?) (9 minutes)



SESSION 4 (14 minutes)
Faber 2 Theme to Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky, arranged by N. Faber. One thing about the last session of the day is I am invariably DONE with all that is unnecessary. The book suggests this be played moderato, which my reference books list as 100-120. I have struggled for a month to play it at that tempo. I LOVE it at 80. It’s graceful and sweeping, dignified at 80. It’s muddy, frantic and completely uncharming at 100. I can’t imagine the horrors I would inflict upon it at 120. Looking all over for performances online I’ve not found one that is racing to the finish. Everyone seems to be playing it well under 100. I’m going to record it this weekend at 80 and set it aside. In the future it will pop up in my Faber Review time as all things do, probably 2-3 months from now. Hopefully my pedaling skills will have improved enough to do justice to the suggested tempo, but I’ve got to say I just don’t LIKE it that fast. (4 minutes, see? No patience for what it unnecessary)

Driving Range, C. Norton – Please, God, let it end. I’ve been working this thing on and off for nearly 5 weeks. It was cute at first. Now, not so much. Today, thankfully, I got it to the 152 bpm with the dynamics intact, starting at 132, which I’m more than pleased with. A couple of days to solidify it and I’ll record it. (10 minutes)

Czerny #11 – This got skipped today. It happens some days. The concentration just isn’t there for everything in the last session of the day. The thought of working this little exercise at anything resembling a brisk tempo is more effort than I want to expend after 3 hours of practice already today. In an hour or so I’ll feel like going through my meager repertoire, but not something I have to “work” at. (0 minutes)


SESSION 5 Repertoire Maintenance (10-15 minutes, I don’t usually time it) 2 times each with the music, 1 x without. These piece have been memorized for a while.

Intro to Fur Elise – Beethoven; this was memorized before I was doing serious metronome work, or had the standards for my pieces that I do now. I like to play it now at about 80 working on smoothing it out before I advance the speed some more.

Bourree in E minor – L. Mozart; I LOVE this little piece. It’s frisky and I like to pretend I’m four-year old Mozart zipping through it with a cocky little tilt to his head and a smirk on his lips…

Rainbow Connection – Paul Williams – Okay this was the first piece I ever memorized. I chose it because it’s the lullaby I sang to my babies a couple of decades ago, so I knew I would never tire of it. Also, it’s frankly unintimidating compared to the baroque, classical and romantic music I generally prefer.


Today the sessions went 1,2,3,4,5. Tomorrow I’ll do 4,1,2,3,5. The next day 3,4,1,3,5 and so forth. I do that to make sure each grouping of work gets its turn being first of the day or last of the day. The groupings have a mix of technique, new and more polished or easy items and sources. Session 5 is always last. Just for fun at the end of the day you might say. My work schedule doesn’t let me practice on Fridays. On Saturday and Sunday family obligations limit me to doing 2 sessions each day, so I get through the whole shebang over the course of the weekend. Mon-Thu I try for what I did today along with a couple of pages of theory and 5-10 minutes of ear training with the online RCM Level 1 program.

If anyone got to the bottom of this…wow. Thanks.



Can you share your spreadsheet? It sounds very useful!


[Linked Image]
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: NobleHouse] #2806236 01/24/19 08:51 PM
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HollyBytheLake Offline OP
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NobleHouse, It's an Excel spreadsheet. If someone could tell me how to attach it. I'd be glad to.


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806241 01/24/19 09:02 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,199
pianoloverus Online Content
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I wonder what you hope to accomplish with all the writing. I don't think it's beneficial. Whatever time it takes could probably be spent more beneficially on practicing. Practicing is not that complicated.

What is the point of posting all the endless detail about your practice session? If you think it's useful I guess you should do it, but why would someone else be interested in all this detail?

Have you considered getting a teacher? Being organized, especially to the extreme you want, is not nearly as important as knowing what to do when you are playing. Without a teacher you will find it very hard to know what you're doing correctly and doing incorrectly.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 01/24/19 09:11 PM.
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: pianoloverus] #2806247 01/24/19 09:10 PM
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HollyBytheLake Offline OP
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pianoloverus, My assumption is no one at all would be interested. It's a diary. That it's public keeps me accountable, but otherwise I would assume only a random bored or intoxicated person would give it a whirl on occasion. Perhaps a newbie looking for how the heck do you practice? as I was 7 months ago. I avidly read anyone and everyone's practice habits, following links to pedagogy sites, it was a process to learn HOW to practice and in that process was a place for other people's journals. If it's not your jam, no biggie. As for "all this writing" versus "playing or practicing", I did 3.5 hours at the keys today. I don't have the concentration for more. Chopin's ghost would scold me for more than three hours anyway.


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806254 01/24/19 09:21 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,199
pianoloverus Online Content
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It's much, much better to learn from a teacher how to practice, what to practice, and how to play the piano in terms of correct technique. Other beginner's posts are not so good because beginners have so little experience and knowledge.

Without a teacher it's close to impossible to know if you are practicing correctly and learning the basics of playing correctly. Even if you eventually do learn correct playing it will take you much longer. I think 3.5 hours, if that;s typical, is too long for a relative beginner.

Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806260 01/24/19 09:35 PM
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HollyBytheLake Offline OP
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pianoloverus, you're undoubtedly right. Some of us don't have that option for a variety of reasons, or from experience with other instruments know how their best learning process works with or without a teacher. As you might notice in my post I don't suggest I'm an expert, or that I'm even on to something. First paragraph makes it clear it's a diary. Just that.


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806279 01/24/19 10:29 PM
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I found it interesting, you are one organized person which I think is a great thing. If this helps you move forward please keep posting.

Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806292 01/24/19 10:58 PM
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The last time that I suggested that increasing my attention to tracking my practice would result in improved tracking of practice, I was accused of being a bully, so I certainly don't want to do that again.

Good luck in your pianoing and in your journaling.


Learner
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806296 01/24/19 11:11 PM
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Thanks, dcupright and malkin. Forums are always a mixed bag of responses. I take any feedback presented civilly. I appreciated the support responses just a bit more though! grin


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806314 01/25/19 12:14 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by HollyBytheLake
If anyone got to the bottom of this…wow. Thanks.

I've been working on keeping a daily practice log too. In fact it is one of my 2019 piano goals.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: pianoloverus] #2806384 01/25/19 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I wonder what you hope to accomplish with all the writing. I don't think it's beneficial. Whatever time it takes could probably be spent more beneficially on practicing. Practicing is not that complicated.

What is the point of posting all the endless detail about your practice session? If you think it's useful I guess you should do it, but why would someone else be interested in all this detail?

Have you considered getting a teacher? Being organized, especially to the extreme you want, is not nearly as important as knowing what to do when you are playing. Without a teacher you will find it very hard to know what you're doing correctly and doing incorrectly.


Many of us spend time that others feel is a waste of time, including on this forum smile. I personally like lists and organization, but agree that this level of detail is a bit much. But that's me. Holly strives for organization, and it keeps her on track. All the power to her.

Yes, a teacher would be ideal, and I suppose it was worth suggesting, but she's not going to for whatever personal reason (time, financial, prior fiasco, anthropophobia, or whatever), so let's not beat that dead horse again!

Holly, welcome to the forum and good luck with your studies!


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Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806401 01/25/19 05:22 AM
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Hi Holly,

Wow, you've got a lot of patience to write everything down in such detail! I keep a practice journal too, but my entries look more like:

Tch - drill D new fingering, A-D dynamics. 25 min. Bach - B HT with metronome, 15 min. Am mel, harm, arps, Em harm 15 min Clem - PT all 3, drill H M3, visualisation. 35 min. Total 90 min.

That's about all I can muster, and if it makes sense to anyone but me, I'd be very surprised indeed. laugh That's of course assuming that they could read my handwriting to even get that much out of it.

I do find keeping a journal on whatever level of detail quite helpful, for a variety of reasons. Like Tyrone, I set a goal of doing it this year. Last year I started well but fell off the wagon in August.

So by all means put yours on here if it helps you! I'll probably read it; I love poking my nose into other people's practice routines.


Q: Am I late beginner, or early intermediate? A: Yes!

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best. ~ Henry Van Dyke
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2806437 01/25/19 07:32 AM
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HollyBytheLake Offline OP
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Tyrone, enjoy you year of piano!

Cmb13, Thanks, I agree this level is too much. I don't keep my daily practice sheets anywhere near this exact. This is an experiment of one day a week to dive a little deeper. I found that fun. At this point I'll do it again. A single day from a single week. Will it be 49 weeks all this year? Highly doubtful. On another note, you're absolute right about the way I do things keeping me on track. What I didn't think to mention to Pianoloverus it I do things the way I do them because it brings me joy. Also, I've got nothing against teachers. Had them before and will undoubtedly have one again. Just not right now.

elenmirie, Thanks, your journal example is exactly the kind of thing I do for my daily goals list and outcomes. I wanted to experiment with something where it would feel natural to add in thoughts and feelings. Wouldn't have the time for it daily. Hoping to weekly, but wouldn't be surprised if it ends up only monthly.

To all, thanks for the feedback and interest.


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806446 01/25/19 07:49 AM
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Sibylle Offline
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Holly, I admire your diligence. So much detail! And while I'm nowhere near as systematic in my approach, I think you should do whatever works for you. Besides, it's really interesting to read, so thank you for the glimpse into your practice, errr, practice wink

Of course, one of the reasons why I won't do this is that I'm just back from a way-too-long break and my entries would look something like:

"- Scales, right hand: Ah well. Just as long as I don't try them any faster.
- Scales, left hand: Shoot me now...

- Bach, the Invention I thought was easy when I was 10 years old: Thought I'd got that one down, but surprise! on playing through I found myself completely murdering the section I'd worked on in great detail a week ago and that had gone well ever since. §%())%$§%)"!!

- Mozart Adagio: I'm so, so sorry, Wolfgang Amadeus. I really am.

- Chopin Waltz: In slow-motion, it's beginning to sound... not good, but slightly less awful."

ha


Last edited by Sibylle; 01/25/19 07:50 AM.

Sibylle


"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806478 01/25/19 09:09 AM
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Tech-key Offline
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Holly,
I enjoyed reading your post, and did get to the bottom. Maybe I am random, bored, newbie, intoxicated.. or all of those things laugh. But I was entertained. May there be many pages of your practice diary here thumb


Think Twice, Play Once
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: Sibylle] #2806492 01/25/19 09:26 AM
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malkin Offline
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Originally Posted by Sibylle
..."- Scales, right hand: Ah well. Just as long as I don't try them any faster.
- Scales, left hand: Shoot me now...
ha



Hey Sibylle--If it is any comfort, I can say that after [mumbled number] years, my left hand scales have improved to "ah well..." and only the hands together scales remain cringeworthy.


Learner
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806510 01/25/19 09:46 AM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online Content
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One thing that may just be me and not anyone else, is that when I am logging my practice time, I "believe" I'm practicing longer (either that or else I didn't realize how much I practiced before! grin ). If true, this is a psychological side-effect, which is interesting and maybe why practice journal are recommended by some teachers.

I've only been logging for 3 weeks, since the beginning of the year, so it's possible this effect, if it is real, will reduce as I get accustomed to keeping my practice journal.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2806531 01/25/19 10:07 AM
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zrtf90 Offline
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I got as far as the "Arpeggios. BORING." bit then scanned quickly for the next scales or apreggios section. I didn't see it. smile

If you're without a teacher, and I've no issue with that, I'd seriously reconsider scales or arpeggios until you're out of the method books. Until then it's unlikely you know what the intention should be, let alone the technique. And whatever you find boring is neither practice nor helpful.


Richard
Re: Holly's Practice Diary [Re: zrtf90] #2806542 01/25/19 10:31 AM
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Animisha Online Content
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
And whatever you find boring is neither practice nor helpful.


Oh how I wish that one was true! whistle


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
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