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One longer practice session of two shorter ones? #2922556 12/13/19 01:01 PM
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LS35A Offline OP
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What do you think is better, one 60 minute practice session a day or two 30 minute sessions?

I'm curious what people's experience with this has been.

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Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922563 12/13/19 01:18 PM
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dogperson Offline
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I prefer shorter and more frequent sessions,but the rule of thumb is never to practice longer than you can stay focused. I will sometimes practice in 15 min blocks. If you define specific goals and stick to your goal, you can get a lot done in a short interval.


"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

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Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922564 12/13/19 01:18 PM
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Without a doubt 2 x 30 minutes.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922572 12/13/19 01:25 PM
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15-20 minute sessions (4-6 of them per day) works for me.


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Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922577 12/13/19 01:33 PM
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There is a lot of information coming in about this in other areas besides music, supporting what a lot of music teachers say - several shorter sessions. 30 minutes might even be too long for sustained real focus, unless you aim for two different things.

You're training all kinds of little skills if you practice right. Changes happen in your nerve endings, pathways between brain and body, as well as your senses such as hearing, timing and so on. Good focus can only sustain a short time. During rest, away from the piano, your brain/nervous system, keeps processing what you did, sort of rewiring and such - even more when you get good sleep. So when you go back to it, you "have more" than you did before, and it grows cumulatively. The practice itself should be well focused, because of you noodle, keep hitting wrong notes and such, your brain works hard to "remember" that as well - not a thing you want. smile

Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922603 12/13/19 02:37 PM
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Shorter & more frequent sessions definitely but time limit is not an absolute. For exercise pieces I can play between 15-20m at most. When I'm working on a piece, I'd break it up into sections and estimate how long it'd take to learn a section until I fixed all the wrong notes. I'll take breaks in between.

The last piece I worked on was a waltz in 6 pages I learned a year ago. The first & last section are similar so I'm just relearning the part in the middle. In an hour with 1 break in between, page 4 came back and then page 5. When I'm missing just a few measures at the end or a few wrong notes I wouldn't stop and let them get fixed the next day.

Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922629 12/13/19 03:28 PM
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I would always pick 2x30 mins when possible! smile


Jan '18 - Started playing
Nov '18 - Grade 3 (d)
Nov '19 - Grade 5 (p)

??? '20 - Grade 6

If you'd like to follow my progress, recitals, experiences, check out my YouTube channel
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Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922711 12/13/19 08:12 PM
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I used to practice 30-60 mins at a time and I found my progress stalled and I lost focus and tended to just "play" the piano rather than pracitce.

For the last few months I've shifted to 10-15 minute sessions and then take a break. Occasionally I'll go longer if I've nearly got a measure down or I'm wanting to repeat a few more times to correct mistakes. As far as breaks, sometimes it's a short drink break other times a couple of hours before returning for another 10-15 mintes.

I'm finding the breaks help with my focus and memory. Also my average practice time per day has increased and is over 60 minutes and often over 90 minutes. Where as when I did 30 min sessions, I rarely did more than 30 mins per day. I think that might be a mind game, in that it's easier to think, I'll have another 10 minutes than it is to think can I fit in 30 minutes right now? Or even just, I'll just do one 10 minute session today, then when you get into it you end up adding another in later, and another. 30 mins or longer in one session, I find harder to convince myself to do each day.

Last edited by Gary001; 12/13/19 08:13 PM.

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Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922888 12/14/19 02:26 PM
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It depends on what you're doing. For most activities 2x30 minutes is best except if you're polishing pieces or going technical, because 30 minutes is a time point around which the hands start to get shape required for serious work.

Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922894 12/14/19 02:56 PM
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I think it depends on what is being practised. Sometimes I don't realise that a couple of hours have passed. Other times I need a break after half an hour. When playing something new, it can take a while to get the most comfortable playing position, so my back can get tired quickly. For example, a piece I'm working on at the moment is causing me problems as I can't straighten the fourth finger of my left hand when playing octaves with 1 and 5, so 4 crashes into the black notes. While that is easily solved by using a low wrist, it will be hard on my back until I find the right posture to accommodate it.


Last edited by johnstaf; 12/14/19 03:01 PM.
Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922900 12/14/19 03:03 PM
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I don’t think there is much difference. The most important is you practice. Some people worry too much about silly details like this. :p

Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: Moo :)] #2922904 12/14/19 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
I don’t think there is much difference. The most important is you practice. Some people worry too much about silly details like this. :p


... and sometimes the details that are deemed ‘silly’ turn out to be important 😽


"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

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922905 12/14/19 03:20 PM
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It's unclear what two 30 minute sessions means, and I suspect posters have been interpreting it to mean different things. For example, which of the two alternatives does two 30 minute sessions separated by a 5-10 minute break fall into?

I think more people would agree that something like more than an hour with no break after the hour is a bad idea vs. saying if one hour of continuous practice is good or bad? Doesn't the answer depend on the particular person and that person's energy, concentration level, motivation, etc. on a particular day?

Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922924 12/14/19 04:35 PM
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I don’t think the length of the practice session matters as much as how long you can devote to focussed practice at any one time. The most I practice at one sitting without a break is around 45 minutes.



Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2922992 12/14/19 09:34 PM
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terentius Offline
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Lots of interesting responses here.

OP - I suggest you experiment with different timeframes for your practice.

After falling asleep at the keyboard on occasion, I’m going to do the same.


Modesty is a form of pride.
Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2923021 12/15/19 02:42 AM
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Everything I’ve ever read suggests the regularity of practice is more important than the length.

Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: terentius] #2923034 12/15/19 05:10 AM
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
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Originally Posted by terentius
Lots of interesting responses here.

OP - I suggest you experiment with different timeframes for your practice.

After falling asleep at the keyboard on occasion, I’m going to do the same.

laugh
What were you playing?

Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2923303 12/15/19 08:26 PM
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terentius Offline
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Iaroslav:

Nothing boring. It wasn’t the pieces.

Just tired I guess and the weather was hot.


Modesty is a form of pride.
Re: One longer practice session of two shorter ones? [Re: LS35A] #2923305 12/15/19 08:26 PM
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One focused practise session is better than 2 unfocused practised sessions. 2 focussed practised sessions are better than 1 focussed practise session.


Be yourself


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