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Practice schedule
#3026309 09/18/20 09:34 AM
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Hi

When you sit down to practice, what is your routine?

My new routine is,
30 minutes rehearse old songs
30 minutes work on a new song
30 minutes working on scales, rhythm, sight reading, theory, ear training, and improv/jazz

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Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026316 09/18/20 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilotryan
When you sit down to practice, what is your routine?

I wonder why so many beginners are obsessed with "routines". In the long term it doesn't really matter. You should be regular in the sense of regularly working on your technique, sight reading, etc. but you don't have to have a "routine" in the sense of always doing the same things in the same order. You don't even have to be very systematic in what you practice as long as you address all your various aspects regularly. In fact, over the medium to long term any system is going to fall apart as your skills develop. You will find new things to practice but you will also find that you may stop practicing things you practiced so far because your priorities change.

What is orders of magnitude more important is your practice techniques. These are specific things you do to address issues in your playing. You have to analyze problem areas and address them case-by-case according to the difficulties you are having. For example, if you are constantly making a mistake at a particular spot you stop on that note and play just one note and the note before and after, then you add one note on each side, and so forth. This is called "chaining". Chaining, and blocking, and rhythm variations are all examples of practice techniques. There are many, many others.

Maybe we should make a list of those for people who are new to practicing.

Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026320 09/18/20 10:10 AM
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A wise teacher told me long ago not to spend more than 1/8th of your practice time on technique. So if you have 90 minutes, around 11 or 12 minutes on technique. Seems like 30 minutes is too much.

Other than that, I am goal driven. I really, really want to participate in the online recitals, so I am always working on things that I can play in the next recital. I rarely go back and play old pieces - too much music, not enough time...

Sam

Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026321 09/18/20 10:15 AM
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I don’t have a routine tied to specific times. I’m rather random but it always follows a similar pattern: work on repertoire and etudes that have been worked on before but are considered not finished (i.e. not completely new pieces), then work on new pieces (if any), then work on scales, arpeggios, chords, etc. (if I feel like it).

I don’t normally work on sight-reading or aural training stuff in my hour of practice, although I probably should allot some time to it.

My practice works for me and gets me the results I want but I don’t recommend others follow it because it’s very personal. As you can see, it’s very undisciplined and I don’t care that it is so.

I am, however, pretty good with writing down what I did during a practice session, and then picking up from there during my next session.


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Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026326 09/18/20 10:40 AM
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No routine. I typically practice in 20 minute blocks, and then walk away. How many times a day? It varies.


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Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026331 09/18/20 10:53 AM
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I have to have a routine otherwise I'd just sit there looking out of the window smile

I do two sessions per day

In the afternoon I will do
Scales
Chords
Arpeggios
Method book
Practice a memorises piece (I only have 3 but they cover a variety of styles)

In the evening I do 'Piano Marvel'.

Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026333 09/18/20 10:58 AM
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I don't measure my time, but this is my estimate:

20-25%: scales, chords and arpeggios, plus note-reading and sight-reading
20-25%: practising pieces of my own choice, including, occasionally, playing a favourite "old" piece
50-60%: practising lesson pieces

I have a video teacher, and this estimate does not include watching her videos and writing a summary of what she says, which also takes quite some time.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: Practice schedule
Sam S #3026336 09/18/20 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
A wise teacher told me long ago not to spend more than 1/8th of your practice time on technique.
When you say technique, do you mean scales etc? Because in that case I would agree with your teacher. But if you mean working with dynamics and musicality in a piece, or for instance, playing a run and making sure that every single note articulated, or for instance, with two 8th notes followed by a quarter note at a fast tempo and making sure that it doesn't sound like a triplet, but that every note gets the right amount of time, etc, etc, I heartily disagree with your teacher! I spend most of my practice time working with this. cool


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Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026399 09/18/20 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilotryan
30 minutes working on scales, rhythm, sight reading, theory, ear training, and improv/jazz
Well, that's quite a lot for 30 minutes. smile

Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026409 09/18/20 02:17 PM
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Here are some rough estimates for my schedule. I'm pretty sure the exact amount of time allotted to each section varies across practice sessions. I only get to play once a week, if at all.

1) 10 min for whatever etude I'm currently working on.
2) 50-60 min for 2 pieces that are not completely new, but need work and polishing to be played at performance-level.
3) 20-30 min for a new piece.
4) 15-20 min for one older piece. I rely on some kind of rotation.

If any one of those phases takes less time than expected, I sometimes work on what I consider side projects: easier pieces, experiments etc. I also like giving one my work-in-progress pieces another run, but without practising problematic passages multiple times (which I do in phase 2). Errors are still addressed, but not with the dogged determination that pervades the earlier practice phase. This helps me preserve the enjoyment that I derive from a treasured piece.

Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026411 09/18/20 02:25 PM
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I don't have a set routine.

Somedays I might practice scales and Hannon for a couple hours, somedays I might only play songs I know for a few minutes. Somedays I might not touch the piano at all. I'm kind of just playing when I have free time.

I'm one of those unfortunate individuals that has to work and do other stuff besides piano. whistle

Last edited by rkzhao; 09/18/20 02:25 PM.
Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026431 09/18/20 03:10 PM
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No routine for me, but there are some typical patterns to it:

Most commonly:

  • Around 60% of time spent on new material
  • Around 40% spent on maintaining repertoire


But sometimes:

  • Around 20% spent on new material
  • Around 20% spent on maintaining repertoire
  • Around 60% just playing whatever takes my fancy (i.e. composing my own little songs without words)


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28
Synthogy Studio Grands, Production Voices Estate Grand, Garritan CFX Lite, Pianoteq 6.7.3 (Blüthner, Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2)
Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026432 09/18/20 03:12 PM
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I don't have, and never had, a routine when it comes to piano practicing. (Actually, I don't have a routine for anything else in my chaotic life either, but I digress...... whistle).

That's probably why I'm still not a virtuoso even after several decades of piano playing.

(Ooops, that should be two decades, split exactly down the middle into youth and old age, with several decades of pure sloth in between.)

On the other hand, that could also be the reason why I'm the pianist I am now, Goldilocks-like (just like Earth, a Goldilocks planet thumb): not too good and not too bad, able to come up with the goods when required in recitals, but also capable of riding roughshod when playing through stuff for fun which I have no intention of learning and throwing in notes of my own invention to replace the composer's/arranger's when I couldn't be bothered playing exactly what is in the score.

Life is interesting when your routine is not to have a routine........ wink


"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: Practice schedule
Qazsedcft #3026444 09/18/20 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
What is orders of magnitude more important is your practice techniques. These are specific things you do to address issues in your playing. You have to analyze problem areas and address them case-by-case according to the difficulties you are having. For example, if you are constantly making a mistake at a particular spot you stop on that note and play just one note and the note before and after, then you add one note on each side, and so forth. This is called "chaining". Chaining, and blocking, and rhythm variations are all examples of practice techniques. There are many, many others.

Maybe we should make a list of those for people who are new to practicing.

During my recent lesson on Tuesday, my teacher had me start on bar X and play just that. Then play bar X-1 through X, then bar X-2 through X, etc. It's a good practice technique I think, and not necessarily easy to do on the fly in front of your teacher, especially when you haven't practiced it!


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Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026682 09/19/20 09:12 AM
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I usually practice in the evenings, on a daily basis most of the time.

My typical practice routine is:

Work on a group of exercises from Dozen a Day - 5 minutes

Hanon groups with metronome - 7 minutes

Beyer exercises, usually working through how they're separated in the
Alfred edition I have (currently stuck on 72-74 for the moment) - 10 minutes

Method Book: Piano Adventures, working from the start of the unit I'm working on - 15-20 minutes depending on length and technique

Supplementary material: pieces from websites, pieces from PA supplementary books - 15 minutes (not every single practice session)

My average time would be around 1 hour 10 minutes though it varies day to day if I get stuck on a particular part of a exercise/piece. Lately I've been practicing pedal technique so that takes away from the rest of my practice.


Learning piano on: Yamaha CLP 685
Working on: Adult Piano Adventures Book 2 - Faber
Dozen a Day Book 1 - Burnam
The Virtuoso Pianist Book 1 - Hanon
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Bella's Lullaby - Carter Burwell
Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3026998 09/20/20 02:39 AM
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Hi Pilotryan!

Now that we have told you about our practice schedule, have you decided to change something in yours? smile


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 ...
Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3027023 09/20/20 06:18 AM
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I do not practise at all in the usual sense of that word. The nearest thing I have to a routine is ten minutes of technique morning and night on the silent Virgil Practice Clavier, but its nature varies from day to day. Once at the piano, music seems to thrive on variety for me. I didn't always operate that way so it might be something to do with advancing age.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Practice schedule
Animisha #3027111 09/20/20 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Hi Pilotryan!

Now that we have told you about our practice schedule, have you decided to change something in yours? smile
This is a new routine of mine so Ill try it for a bit and see if it works. I usually come up with a schedule and use it for a month or so then change it a little. With this post I just wanted to see if I was missing anything in my training.

Re: Practice schedule
Pilotryan #3027123 09/20/20 11:06 AM
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Due to C-19, many of us are staying home. While we are spending more time in front of a screen (TV, computer, etc), my schedule gets turned upside down. Instead of going to work and planning my schedule acc. to my work hours, I'd be practicing late at night when I couldn't sleep. Even TV schedules isn't important since I can watch the same shows at a later time.

Getting an hour of practice a day is not a problem. I've come to accept not practicing consistently at the same time each day. Playing can be at 10 am or 2 am depending on my energy level.

Re: Practice schedule
Sam S #3027603 09/21/20 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
A wise teacher told me long ago not to spend more than 1/8th of your practice time on technique. So if you have 90 minutes, around 11 or 12 minutes on technique. Seems like 30 minutes is too much.

For several months, I've been spending rather a lot of lesson time on technique. At this point, I think it is worthwhile, because I am clueless about how to approach most of the exercises, and my hands have been rather uncooperative with some issues, AND eventually I am able to make progress with each one. I think it helps me make good use of the time I spend on technique at home, which isn't more than 1/8 of my practice time. (Although that's a guess, since I am generally task focused and never time any of my practice time.)


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