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#487300 - 06/07/02 03:49 PM A Limit to Practicing
mkesfahani Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 836
Loc: Irvine, CA
On a good day, when nothing unexpected pops up in my schedule or I haven't procrastinated a huge project or something, I can practice 4 hours: 1 hour of technique, half an hour of sight reading, and finally, several pieces of repertoire. With school and work, I have a surprising amount of free time and sometimes I can surpass 4 hours, but therein lies the problem. After 4 hours, it seems like I can't absorb anything. It seems like I can practice 8 hours but only benefit from the first 4. Anybody else have the same problem?


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#487301 - 06/07/02 04:18 PM Re: A Limit to Practicing
sandman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 605
Loc: toronto
well i dont have nearly as much time to practice as you, 4 hours a week mabey for me, but every so often i get a day where i can get in 3 hours or so, but yah ive found that by the end my brain just stops working,
i actually read an article once about this phenomena as it relates to homework from school, but id imagine its aplicable here as well, anyways it said basically what were saying, that after a certain amount of time, (i think it was three hours) the brain stop absorbing info effectively, and actually begins forgetting stuff, they said only study in chunk of three hours max, cause to study for longer periods of time is actually detrimental, and will leave you worse off...i dont know if this is true, but i do know that at times if im getting nowhere practicing a piece, if i just set it aside and come back to it after a few days i play it much better...so perhaps theres some truth to that.

#487302 - 06/07/02 04:20 PM Re: A Limit to Practicing
Joyce_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 194
Loc: Chicago
No, don't have quite that problem, but after 3-4 hours I suddenly become aware of my back starting to twinge. In your case, I would suggest that after several hours you work your way into reviewing repertoire and memorized pieces. That way you are effectively utilizing practice time, but putting the weightier stuff upfront where you can better focus. L.

#487303 - 06/07/02 05:08 PM Re: A Limit to Practicing
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
mkesfahani, I would advise against practicing more than 4 hours. At a certain point progress stops and you can actually make things worse by practicing more. All the teachers I've had (3 of them) have said that at one point in their life they practiced 6+ hours a day and all three now say it was the wrong way to go. They have learned that concentrated practice for 3-4 hours is sufficient for good progress.
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

#487304 - 06/07/02 07:39 PM Re: A Limit to Practicing
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Back in the days when I used to practice for hours on end, I used to break up my practice sessions, i.e., I would not be practicing for 4 hours straight. I'd practice for say an hour to hour and a half here, then take a break and do something else (back then, it was homework for other classes) and then go back to practicing for an hour there, then go and do something else ... I never did practice in one huge block of time. And when I was taking classes, unless it was one of those lovely derivations which took hours to do, which my p-chem profs so loved to give us (groan) I would generally break up my study sessions in at least hourly increments as well. And yes, I was able to get a lot done during that time. If I tried to study in a huge block, my brain would turn to mush and I wouldn't be able to absorb anything.

Of course, nowadays, I'll be lucky if I get to practice for any amount of time at all. Sigh.
Lyn F.

#487305 - 06/08/02 02:00 AM Re: A Limit to Practicing
mkesfahani Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 836
Loc: Irvine, CA
ChemicalGrl brought up a good point which I neglected to mention. 4 hours IS NOT in one block of time. My back could never take that.


#487306 - 06/09/02 02:33 PM Re: A Limit to Practicing
PerfectPitch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/02
Posts: 357
Loc: Yonkers, NY
Sometimes I practice more than 4 hours a day! But I break it up in the daytime and at night! I usually practice 3 hours in the afternoon and 3 hours at nighttime. It's OK for me 'cause it's something I really enjoy! However, there are other days that I only practice for short periods of time! \:\)

I don't consider this as too much because I don't go to work and my parents are totally supportive! \:\)
A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of. - Burt Bacharach


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