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A very useful summary, dogperson.

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Originally Posted by keff
A very useful summary, dogperson.
.

I’m glad you find it useful and would like to hear how anything you incorporate improve your practice sessions, lessons and progress


"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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When mentioning practice routines and tips, one definitely has to check out Bernhard s posts on pianostreet from as eartly as 15 years ago. I instantly bookmarked that thing and i know it s been discussed on PW as well...
That list is like a gold mine of information

Last edited by CosminX; 01/27/20 09:04 AM.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by keff
A very useful summary, dogperson.
.

I’m glad you find it useful and would like to hear how anything you incorporate improve your practice sessions, lessons and progress


My goal for this week is to integrate measures 72 to 79 into the Schubert so that is where I started my practice this morning. It is a matter of not letting the tempo drop which is alleviating itself as I become more familiar with the notes and occasional jump in the RH. Another problem place has been the transition from measure 67 to 68 without incurring a gap between notes. This is very nearly solved.

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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
His #5 really made me think.

Nr 5 is a teacher who doesn't teach how to practise. However, you are on ABF, and we have many threads about how to practise, so you don't need that part from your teacher. Actually, I think we are better than a teacher, because a teacher has one point of view on how to practise, and here you will meet many points of view, and you can pick the one that is the best fit with your personality / learning style.

So if you are satisfied with your piano teacher, apart from them not talking about how to practise, I would say, don't change.


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My teacher’s never given me any sort of overall guidance on how to practice. I guess if I wanted guidance I would ask. She does give me guidance on individual problems, like “spend some time on staccato scales”, or “you need to go back to HS practice on this piece”. But nothing in the style of “spend x% sight-reading”, y% on technical, z% on repertoire pieces” etc.

I don’t know if this is usual.


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Interestingly, my first teacher checks pretty much all of those boxes. I played on an out-of-tune spinet, he ate his dinner and texted during my lesson (not babysitting, but same idea), definitely had no idea what I was even working on from week to week. He didn't hit me.... I can't imagine that actually happening these days.

Were there only 4, or am I forgetting one?

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I believe the point the point being easily overlooked was babysitting neighbours (or was it other people's) children.

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P.S. I can't seem to figure out the editor in this forum so apologies for the typo. Guess I should make a habit of using the preview reply.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by keff
With me it has been during the last five years that my teacher has introduced me to techniques of playing staccato in one hand, legato in the other and how to voice the dynamics between hands. Not easy.

Wait until you are called on to bring out a melody line over simultaneous harmony notes that sit in the exact same hand. This occurs in a lot of music. What broke me (my Tennis Elbow) was doing this at performance tempo in Schumann's The Happy Farmer. I've decided that I should just not trust composers like Schumann who abused their own hands so I'm on a "Just Say No to Schumann" kick just about now! 😂


Schumann breaks my hands too, so rightfully so!

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Originally Posted by CosminX
When mentioning practice routines and tips, one definitely has to check out Bernhard s posts on pianostreet from as eartly as 15 years ago. I instantly bookmarked that thing and i know it s been discussed on PW as well...
That list is like a gold mine of information


Agreed! I've read a lot of Bernhard's posts and find them so helpful!

I've been lucky to have a teacher that has given me many tips on how to practice properly. My problem is that I either forget or ignore her advice. frown I love playing through and have to constantly remind myself not to do that. I think I need to get a notebook or a board or something near the piano and just write out exactly what I need to do, at least until it's become more of a habit.

I think it was you, dogperson (?) who has mentioned in other threads that you put removable flags on your problem measures/areas and don't remove them until you are satisfied that problem is resolved. I need to do that as well! I think I tend to work on too many things at once, and then I do forget that certain measures never go right until I play through. Of course I couldn't do this in something like an Invention...I'd have so many flags I wouldn't be able to read the music...LOL.


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Originally Posted by JB_PW
Originally Posted by CosminX
When mentioning practice routines and tips, one definitely has to check out Bernhard s posts on pianostreet from as eartly as 15 years ago. I instantly bookmarked that thing and i know it s been discussed on PW as well...
That list is like a gold mine of information


Agreed! I've read a lot of Bernhard's posts and find them so helpful!

I've been lucky to have a teacher that has given me many tips on how to practice properly. My problem is that I either forget or ignore her advice. frown I love playing through and have to constantly remind myself not to do that. I think I need to get a notebook or a board or something near the piano and just write out exactly what I need to do, at least until it's become more of a habit.

I think it was you, dogperson (?) who has mentioned in other threads that you put removable flags on your problem measures/areas and don't remove them until you are satisfied that problem is resolved. I need to do that as well! I think I tend to work on too many things at once, and then I do forget that certain measures never go right until I play through. Of course I couldn't do this in something like an Invention...I'd have so many flags I wouldn't be able to read the music...LOL.


Yes, I use Transparent post it note flags to mark the problems. The flags stay on the music until it’s no longer an issue. If I discover anything do I add a flag. Yes my scores can get quite full but it feels so good to take them off


"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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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by JB_PW
Originally Posted by CosminX
When mentioning practice routines and tips, one definitely has to check out Bernhard s posts on pianostreet from as eartly as 15 years ago. I instantly bookmarked that thing and i know it s been discussed on PW as well...
That list is like a gold mine of information


Agreed! I've read a lot of Bernhard's posts and find them so helpful!

I've been lucky to have a teacher that has given me many tips on how to practice properly. My problem is that I either forget or ignore her advice. frown I love playing through and have to constantly remind myself not to do that. I think I need to get a notebook or a board or something near the piano and just write out exactly what I need to do, at least until it's become more of a habit.

I think it was you, dogperson (?) who has mentioned in other threads that you put removable flags on your problem measures/areas and don't remove them until you are satisfied that problem is resolved. I need to do that as well! I think I tend to work on too many things at once, and then I do forget that certain measures never go right until I play through. Of course I couldn't do this in something like an Invention...I'd have so many flags I wouldn't be able to read the music...LOL.


Yes, I use Transparent post it note flags to mark the problems. The flags stay on the music until it’s no longer an issue. If I discover anything do I add a flag. Yes my scores can get quite full but it feels so good to take them off


Brilliant idea, I’m stealing that! Do you use the ones that have little arrows?

Last edited by LarryK; 01/27/20 12:51 PM.
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by JB_PW
Originally Posted by CosminX
When mentioning practice routines and tips, one definitely has to check out Bernhard s posts on pianostreet from as eartly as 15 years ago. I instantly bookmarked that thing and i know it s been discussed on PW as well...
That list is like a gold mine of information


Agreed! I've read a lot of Bernhard's posts and find them so helpful!

I've been lucky to have a teacher that has given me many tips on how to practice properly. My problem is that I either forget or ignore her advice. frown I love playing through and have to constantly remind myself not to do that. I think I need to get a notebook or a board or something near the piano and just write out exactly what I need to do, at least until it's become more of a habit.

I think it was you, dogperson (?) who has mentioned in other threads that you put removable flags on your problem measures/areas and don't remove them until you are satisfied that problem is resolved. I need to do that as well! I think I tend to work on too many things at once, and then I do forget that certain measures never go right until I play through. Of course I couldn't do this in something like an Invention...I'd have so many flags I wouldn't be able to read the music...LOL.


Yes, I use Transparent post it note flags to mark the problems. The flags stay on the music until it’s no longer an issue. If I discover anything do I add a flag. Yes my scores can get quite full but it feels so good to take them off


Brilliant idea, I’m stealing that! Do you use the ones that have little arrows?


Yes, I use the skinny ones shaped like an arrow so that the arrow points to the problem. The ones I order from Amazon are Lysas neon page markers


"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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Originally Posted by JB_PW
My problem is that I either forget or ignore her advice. frown.
I require students to record lessons!

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A lot of Mendelssohn’s Songs without words have both melody and harmony in the same hand where your fourth and fifth fingers are the ones playing the melody. When I was working on one, my teacher first had me ghost the harmony and play the melody ( put your fingers on the notes but don’t actually press down). I had done it before with just the left hand but it is a lot harder in the same hand. When I finally got that, he then told me to play the melody loud and legato and the harmony soft and staccato. It really did help.
My teacher from the beginning has talked about how to practice. I have been with him for 8 years. Now he will often ask me to critique my playing before he does and with a new piece will say, “how are you going to work on that?”


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Originally Posted by zillybug
A lot of Mendelssohn’s Songs without words have both melody and harmony in the same hand where your fourth and fifth fingers are the ones playing the melody. When I was working on one, my teacher first had me ghost the harmony and play the melody ( put your fingers on the notes but don’t actually press down). I had done it before with just the left hand but it is a lot harder in the same hand. When I finally got that, he then told me to play the melody loud and legato and the harmony soft and staccato. It really did help.
My teacher from the beginning has talked about how to practice. I have been with him for 8 years. Now he will often ask me to critique my playing before he does and with a new piece will say, “how are you going to work on that?”


Sounds like a great lesson!!!!


"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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I usually like Estrin's videos but this one seemed a little thin. EXCEPT I do remember being desperate for advice on how to practice, until I changed teachers. My current and much appreciated teacher gives me specific guidance on how to practice, not just what to practice. We identify the sections that need extra work, and she suggests different ways of practicing certain measures. HS as well as HT, sure, but also things like:
  • Practice different combinations of notes for speed practice: 123 123 123...; 1, 231, 231, 231...; 12, 312 312 312 etc: expanded from two or three to four or five or six notes in each group, so that I'm practicing each pair of notes as fast as possible, then each trio of notes as fast as possbile, then every four together ... until I can get the whole sequence up to speed.
  • Start to learn a piece by focusing only on the hardest passage; only start learning other parts once that's well on its way (this was especially satisfying when the "hard" part was toward the end but it was already familiar hence "easier" by the time I got there!).
  • Play block chords until my hands know how to move quickly to position, before breaking out into playing the arpeggios as written.
  • Exaggerate the voicing for practice; I once quoted a painter who said, in a documentary, "sometimes you have to make it ugly before you can make it beautiful," and my teacher and I quote this back to one another when I'm learning how to bring out the voicing in a difficult passage.

This has been so much more helpful than the teacher who would say things like, "how do you feel when you play this? take a moment to picture this before you start to play."

I also appreciate that the current teacher watches my hands for tension, and sometimes writes the reminder "NO CLAW" in my notebook! (A reminder how NOT to practice....)


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Sounds like you have a great teacher!
Originally Posted by zillybug
...ghost the harmony and play the melody ( put your fingers on the notes but don’t actually press down). I had done it before with just the left hand but it is a lot harder in the same hand.

Ghosting, or playing "mute," yes! But oh my it's so hard!!

Last edited by Qwerty53; 01/27/20 02:38 PM.

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Originally Posted by zillybug
A lot of Mendelssohn’s Songs without words have both melody and harmony in the same hand where your fourth and fifth fingers are the ones playing the melody. When I was working on one, my teacher first had me ghost the harmony and play the melody ( put your fingers on the notes but don’t actually press down). I had done it before with just the left hand but it is a lot harder in the same hand. When I finally got that, he then told me to play the melody loud and legato and the harmony soft and staccato. It really did help.

The sound image acts stronger than the tactile one, therefore it is worth splitting the part of the right hand between both hands, where the right hand plays louder; and then with one hand to reproduce the effect of both hands . The memory of sound itself organizes the muscles of the arm and fingers.

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