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This will perhaps be an unwelcome opinion based on the general discussion of this thread, but I think it's worth pointing out that multiple studies have shown that practice time is not correlated with skills, and hence aiming to practice for "30 minutes" (or whatever) really isn't going to get you to your real goal (which is presumably to play better, not to play for a given amount of time). What is correlated with improvements is how you practice - practice the same phrase in different ways, turning them into mini-etudes, vs just "play this section 10x for 5 days" is what lets people advance quicker.

This is a nice paper on the subject:
http://cml.music.utexas.edu/assets/pdf/DukeEtAl2.pdf

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Irrespective of the pedagogical implications of the more recent studies of practice behavior, making practice assignments in terms of time practiced instead of goals accomplished remains one of the most curious and stubbornly persistent traditions in music pedagogy

Last edited by RogerRL; 08/05/19 02:47 PM.

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Originally Posted by RogerRL
This will perhaps be an unwelcome opinion based on the general discussion of this thread, but I think it's worth pointing out that multiple studies have shown that practice time is not correlated with skills, and hence aiming to practice for "30 minutes" (or whatever) really isn't going to get you to your real goal (which is presumably to play better, not to play for a given amount of time). What is correlated with improvements is how you practice - practice the same phrase in different ways, turning them into mini-etudes, vs just "play this section 10x for 5 days" is what lets people advance quicker.

This is a nice paper on the subject:
http://cml.music.utexas.edu/assets/pdf/DukeEtAl2.pdf

Quote
Irrespective of the pedagogical implications of the more recent studies of practice behavior, making practice assignments in terms of time practiced instead of goals accomplished remains one of the most curious and stubbornly persistent traditions in music pedagogy


It is not an unwelcome post at all.... but a method that works well for me. The ‘trick’ is that the practice time must be spent on the problems not the parts that are in good shape.


"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 RogerRL
This will perhaps be an unwelcome opinion based on the general discussion of this thread, but I think it's worth pointing out that multiple studies have shown that practice time is not correlated with skills, and hence aiming to practice for "30 minutes" (or whatever) really isn't going to get you to your real goal (which is presumably to play better, not to play for a given amount of time). What is correlated with improvements is how you practice - practice the same phrase in different ways, turning them into mini-etudes, vs just "play this section 10x for 5 days" is what lets people advance quicker.

This is a nice paper on the subject:
http://cml.music.utexas.edu/assets/pdf/DukeEtAl2.pdf

Quote
Irrespective of the pedagogical implications of the more recent studies of practice behavior, making practice assignments in terms of time practiced instead of goals accomplished remains one of the most curious and stubbornly persistent traditions in music pedagogy


Very interesting paper, Roger! Thanks for sharing.

Scientifically, I wonder how the results correlate to the more real world case of learning a full piece. Can the full piece be deconstructed in this way as a set of passages such that the listed techniques remain effective? Or is there something new added when many phrases are linked together into a full piece not covered by the study?

Regardless, the best approach is undoubtedly not just "practice 30 minutes a day" but "practice 30 effective minutes a day". It does seem a major gap in pedagogy that exactly how to achieve efficient practice is seldom discussed.

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Originally Posted by RogerRL
This will perhaps be an unwelcome opinion based on the general discussion of this thread, but I think it's worth pointing out that multiple studies have shown that practice time is not correlated with skills, and hence aiming to practice for "30 minutes" (or whatever) really isn't going to get you to your real goal (which is presumably to play better, not to play for a given amount of time). What is correlated with improvements is how you practice - practice the same phrase in different ways, turning them into mini-etudes, vs just "play this section 10x for 5 days" is what lets people advance quicker.

This is a nice paper on the subject:
http://cml.music.utexas.edu/assets/pdf/DukeEtAl2.pdf

Quote
Irrespective of the pedagogical implications of the more recent studies of practice behavior, making practice assignments in terms of time practiced instead of goals accomplished remains one of the most curious and stubbornly persistent traditions in music pedagogy


I don’t think logging practice and practicing effectively are mutually exclusive. Or even partially exclusive.

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