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In general, what things should I be doing, and how regularly?

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yes.

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Better than what? Better than whom?


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Originally Posted by Wise Idiot
In general, what things should I be doing, and how regularly?

Three square meals a day, regular exercise, avoid tobacco products, and, of course, put in at least an hour a day of practice at the piano with full concentration.


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Away from the piano:

Listen to lots of music. Get to know as much varied repertoire as you can. Familiarise yourself with all the different musical styles and the major composers of the past 3 centuries. Study their scores too, to better understand their compositional differences and influences. Read about music history, and understand the chronology of composers and their music, who influenced who, changing styles of interpretation and playing etc. Listen to lots of different interpretations and interpreters. Form your own opinions and tastes. Be open minded. Go to concerts. Not just of piano music but also of orchestral, chamber and vocal music, as well as jazz and popular music.

At the piano:

Become more regimented. Set yourself goals. Be strict with yourself with regards to times of day you practice, how long you practice for, warming up properly, taking regular breaks, not procrastinating etc. Look at how effectively you are using your time. Look at your posture and technique, is it completely relaxed? Are you using your body in the most effective way? Mirrors help with this I find. Challenge yourself with everything you play, even if you don't find a particular piece very challenging. Maintain a repertoire of easy, medium and hard pieces (relative to your current level) and find something in each one to improve and hence better yourself.

Practice when you are feeling alert and are able to concentrate. Don't practice when you feel tired or worn out. Eat properly, sleep properly, take regular exercise (I find a good swim before I practice makes the practice go a lot better).

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Originally Posted by Wise Idiot
In general, what things should I be doing, and how regularly?


Practicing and performing, as much as you can.

And getting involved in the local arts community - attend concerts, listen as much as you can and take advantage of everything your community has to offer. (The number of free/cheap concerts at colleges and universities is usually rather large, and they're often poorly attended by the community - I've never understood why.)


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Originally Posted by Kreisler
(The number of free/cheap concerts at colleges and universities is usually rather large, and they're often poorly attended by the community - I've never understood why.)
I find this to be true even in Manhattan, with its several million residents, at places like Mannes. I'd have thought on the Upper West Side there would be enough people interested in free, high quality recitals/master classes, but sometimes they're very poorly attended.

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Originally Posted by jazzyprof
avoid tobacco products


Tell that to albeniz
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
(The number of free/cheap concerts at colleges and universities is usually rather large, and they're often poorly attended by the community - I've never understood why.)


Lack of publicity, parking, and access
(I also live in a college town.)


Slow down and do it right.
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Originally Posted by TheCannibalHaddock
Originally Posted by jazzyprof
avoid tobacco products


Tell that to albeniz
[Linked Image]


Imagine how much better a pianist he could have become if he'd ditched the stogies. grin


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Set yourself a weekly practice plan.
I send my pupils away with a homework sheet advising them what to practice and when, as this gives them something to work by.

I'd suggest practicing for at least 20 mins a day. And don't try and learn to many different things. This way you will learn what you are learning to a higher standard.

I'd suggest for example Mondays - practice one scale 5 times, then your piece of music for 15 mins e.t.c, and work out a plan like that.

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Originally Posted by jazzyprof
Originally Posted by TheCannibalHaddock
Originally Posted by jazzyprof
avoid tobacco products


Tell that to albeniz
[Linked Image]


Imagine how much better a pianist he could have become if he'd ditched the stogies. grin


Haha! But he looks so serene and carefree like that...i could almost hug him!


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I would say that a good teacher and weekly lessons is probably the most important place to start. A teacher will be able to tailor the lessons to you, work with you on problem areas, motivate you and keep you on track. ( Of course, YOU have to put in the time with good practice. The best teacher I ever had liked to say that practice doesn't make perfect, but perfect practice can!)


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I keep a notebook of ideas as well as just other musical things like chord progressions to popular songs (not just for piano) I've come across and am learning on youtube for instance. So I had started writing a list of things for myself to remember to incorporate into my playing and practice; only have a few on this list anyway up to now but they are;
'sing' while playing; this can really make quite a difference if you imagine you're singing the melody while playing it.
2)Play loud. I usually try and play rather softly; originally from not wanting to disturb the neighbors but with headphones it's not an issue and i've found that playing louder somehow give me more control over the piece eventually.
3)backwards practice. start from the last measure, then the last 2...
4)slowly...maybe even slower than that!
5) start working on the left hand first, practicing the piece at the beginning anyway.

not that these are my ideas but some I've heard here of course or gotten from books; a couple of books that I'm amazed by lately that i've gotten are The Musician's Way by Gerald Klickstein and The Piano Lessons book by Neil Miller.

seems like maybe more of an adult beginner question but that might just be me!


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