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The Light of Claude Debussy

Watch this film by Anthony Tobin, celebrating the genius of Debussy. It was shown by G. Henle Verlag during the Frankfurt Musik Messe, 2012, in connection with their release of three volumes of the complete piano works of Debussy. Read more >>

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Author Topic: how many hours of practice will it take?!  (Read 3154 times)
sassafras
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« on: July 10, 2007, 12:12:31 AM »

My 10 years of piano lessons ended in 1969, at which time I was juried a level 10. However, I chose not to study music in college and barely touched a piano from 1970-1981 ... . From 1981-  to mid APril, 2007 I did not even touch a piano. In APril I started on a digital yamaha ($550 Best Buy special) and have found that I have put in pver 300 hours practicing since then and think nothing of doing 5-8 hours of playing. (I am on disability and the more I play the more I want to play.)

How many hours of practice are associated with the progression through the "levels"Huh I started with basic level one pieces and am working on level 5 and 6 now, but with difficulty -- I want results NOW.... Is it fair to assume that in 3 years I should be back to a level 10, more or less?

ANy thoughts would be appreciated and I have no intention of taking lessons at this point... .

My goal is to play Rhapsody in Blue perfectly, again.

sassafras
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amelialw
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2007, 12:42:55 AM »

usually, someone would start of with half and hour and practise that much between about Grades 1-2. Practise time might be increased to 45mins-1hr when the student is grade 3-6 or so. Once the student reaches grade 7 or so it is better to practise for about 1-1 and a half hour. 1-2 hrs for grades 8&9. For my grade 10 I practised between 2 and a half hours to 4 hrs. Now, i'm practising 4-5hrs for my piano dip.

You would be able to get back to level 10 in 3 years time if you work hard enough. Rhaspsody in Blue is of a ARCT Dip standard...but you'll get there again. All the best to you! Grin
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J.S Bach Italian Concerto,Beethoven Sonata op.2 no.2,Mozart Sonatas K.330&333,Chopin Scherzo no.2,Etude op.10 no.12&Fantasie Impromptu
jlh
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2007, 02:13:37 AM »

I have calculated all the data and the number of hours it will take you to play Rhapsody in Blue perfectly is 1909.45 hours.   

You should be able to get back up to grade 10 in a little over 1000 hours, give or take 50.5. 

Hope this helps!!!  Grin

Josh  Cool
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Bob
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2007, 02:35:08 AM »

I think playing the pieces is one thing.  Knowing the theory, have aural skills, etc., being able to absorb the music is another. 
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allthumbs
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2007, 07:32:44 AM »

It will take as long as it takes. As long as you are enjoying the journey to get back to where you once were, what does it matter?

No one can answer this for you and to ask is a waste of time.


Have a great time practicing. Smiley

allthumbs
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sevencircles
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2007, 08:31:56 PM »

By the way didn´t Pogorelich have like a 3-4 year old break after his wife died when he went from practising 8 hours a day to nothing at all for almost 4 years?

He is rumoured to be at least as good as ever before today despite this (when he wants to at least)


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thalberg
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2007, 10:12:09 PM »

The really good pianists go up a level every fifteen minutes.
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pianowelsh
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2007, 11:34:24 PM »

I forget the statistic but there was someone who surveyed concert pianists practice habits over years and said something like 500 - 600 hours to reach a professional level I believe. Maybe someone has the exact stat here. Of course this is factoring in that they have the initial talent and inclination to be a pianist.
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invictious
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2007, 11:35:33 PM »

Why not do it my style.
i never touched a piano for 3 years after Grade 8 DipABRSM
then I began to practice 15 minutes a day for the past 3 months

and now I am DipABRSM
Tongue
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Learning:

Scriabin - Etude 8/12 Shocked

Goal: Debussy - L'isle Joyeuse

Open to any technical advice/repertoire suggestions!

>LISTEN!
thalberg
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2007, 12:44:01 AM »

I forget the statistic but there was someone who surveyed concert pianists practice habits over years and said something like 500 - 600 hours to reach a professional level I believe. Maybe someone has the exact stat here. Of course this is factoring in that they have the initial talent and inclination to be a pianist.

600 hours = 4 hours a day for 150 days.  So it's possible to reach a professional level in just 5 months.
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Mayla
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2007, 02:50:27 AM »

.
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sevencircles
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2007, 04:27:23 AM »

Quote
I forget the statistic but there was someone who surveyed concert pianists practice habits over years and said something like 500 - 600 hours to reach a professional level I believe. Maybe someone has the exact stat here. Of course this is factoring in that they have the initial talent and inclination to be a pianist.

The differences are huge when it comes to how much practice you need.

Volodos is rumoured to be the greatest quicklearner in the pianoworld today and he became a virtuoso very quickly despite a late start

Michelangeli and Rachmaninov on the other hand had to work very hard (apr 8 hours a day) and only learned a very limited repertoire despite this.
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sassafras
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2007, 06:55:00 AM »

Thanks all - I am  now (July) averaging 5 hours a day for every day of the month -- some days are 9 hours and  about twice a month no piano.I find I just want to play -- unlike those years of lessons and being forced to by Parental siuggestion to get to Level 10 -- there were 2 piano professors in the family. One of the reasons I quit was because I knew I was good, but not good enough aka great. Of course, that law degree and other doctorates were also learning experiences -- they all required hours and hours of work...just like piano.

I have always been weak on "technique" and strong on interpretation... now I work on technique because I figure my life experience will bring out more interpretation than I had in high school!

Once  I get back to 10 I may get "tested" in order to teach or may just teach -- I am in a rural area where piano teachers are rare....
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opus10no2
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2007, 10:29:20 AM »

Rachmaninov on the other hand had to work very hard (apr 8 hours a day) and only learned a very limited repertoire despite this.

No, Rach had a gargantuan repertoire, and could memorise and play fluently very very quickly.

600 hours = 4 hours a day for 150 days. So it's possible to reach a professional level in just 5 months.

On the higher end of the scale, consider 16 hours a day for just a few days over a month.

Ridiculous, obviously. But also consider much shorter periods.

30 minutes a day for 1200 days? Much more will be achieved in this, with well managed time.
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invictious
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2007, 07:19:38 AM »

How about, DON'T spend as much time as pianistimo does here
Look at how many hours she spends here.

With those hours, you can learn a few concertos, and still have time to masturbate.
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Learning:

Scriabin - Etude 8/12 Shocked

Goal: Debussy - L'isle Joyeuse

Open to any technical advice/repertoire suggestions!

>LISTEN!
sevencircles
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« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2007, 07:24:00 AM »

Quote
No, Rach had a gargantuan repertoire

Would be interesting to know what pieces he could play except for the ones he recorded

Know he could play a couple of Beethoven Sonatas and Comme Le Vente by Alkan

Propably not as fast as Alkan suggested though  Wink
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opus10no2
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« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2007, 07:37:24 PM »

He was a musical genius.

When asked what the hardest piece he has ever played was, he replied 'Oh, perhaps a particular Scriabin etude, it took me a couple hours to master'

Paraphrased, perhaps.
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franzliszt2
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« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2007, 10:43:00 PM »

All pianists lie about the time they practice. They all say they do less than they actually do. Thats a common known fact
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sevencircles
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2007, 09:42:14 AM »

Quote
All pianists lie about the time they practice. They all say they do less than they actually do. Thats a common known fact

So true with a few exceptions

Gould always claimed that he practiced mentally and rarely by playing the piano but in reality he propably spent a couple of hours playing the piano a day.

Quote
He was a musical genius.

When asked what the hardest piece he has ever played was, he replied 'Oh, perhaps a particular Scriabin etude, it took me a couple hours to master'

I believe that Rach said that he wanted to compose and  conduct more when he was living in America but he didn´t have the time since he had to practice at the piano.

He also mentioned that he wished that he could  learn new pieces as quickly as Josef Hoffmann

Talented he was though no doubt about that too bad that he didn´t record more of his repertoire but he had a problem with records labels like countless people today.






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sassafras
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2007, 02:25:25 PM »

600 hours per level beyond level 3 might be a more accurate assessment than 600 hours

Surely 600 hours only would not make one a professional pianist.
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mark737
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« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2007, 11:46:19 PM »

Hi, first post...

I believe your brain needs the down time between practice to lay down the new info. So probably you reach a max each day and then need to sleep on it...

Its amazing what improvement you see day to day sometimes...

Mark
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pianowelsh
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« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2007, 12:06:55 PM »

I said ' I forget the statistic' It could well have been 6000 hrs infact doing some number cruching I think it could have been 12-16,000 in the end. I think it was Sloboda who researched the stat. My post was really to see if anyone else remembered reading the stat. It was about 5 years ago I read it!  I remember upping my practice hours to 8+ hrs a day for a while!
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sassafras
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« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2007, 09:08:35 AM »

Well, my routine is 5 hours a day average...but some days are no piano and some days are 10 hours.... I have the advantage of having played years ago and as a consequence have moved from Primary to a sure level 5 since April 24 in 302 hours ... as a retired lawyer I count everything in hours...old habits.

I plan to finish the year with 1200 hours in; 1800 hours each for 2008 and 2009 -- that, combined with the uncounted hours from my past, I believe will enable me to play anything -- maybe not perfectly, but enough to enjoy the music and not be embarrassed if someone else listens.

I layed with hour figures and concluded I needed 4800 hours to feel comfortable at the piano.

I really wish I had continued to play an hour a day every day as I had from age 5-17!
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pianowelsh
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« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2007, 03:56:09 PM »

You know its really not the number of hours that is cruicial but how they are used that determines what level of pianist you emerge as.  THe best pianists are efficient, immersed and mentally/intellectually very active all the time in the practice room..whether its 2 hours or 10.
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franzliszt2
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« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2007, 06:39:14 PM »

The efficiency of practice is the important thing. I find practice routines go up and down. For the last 5 days except one where I didn't touch a piano, I've been doing 10 hours a day.

I didvided it up and found that I can easily do it. Physically I'm fine, becasue I've been doing long hours for years now, and 2 hours of the 10 is nothing but technique work. The problems arise when you get to about 7 hours and you start to think umm, what should I do now? At that point do not learn new notes, just revise everything. I always set myself a schedule for the next day. Currently it is

1 hour pischna etudes, scales, cramer, czerny or summit etudy..
1 hour op10 chopin
1 hour Ondine
1 hour Beethoven 5th concerto
1 hour scarbo
1 hour op10 chopin
1 hour scarbo
1 hour beethoven 5
1 hour chopin op10
1 hour revising

I get up very early in the morning becasue I am not a very good sleeper so getting up doesn't bother me. I'm only working a lot at the moment becasue I have deadlines to meet and cannot fail to meet them.

Learning notes and stuff takes the time, once the tecnique is sorted, the hours cut down massivly. With no notes to learn I average 4-5 hours a day.

I agree a lot with mark737. It's amazing what sleep can achieve. But only if you sleep on good practice. Sleeping on bad practice is deadly. Bad practice and not achieving much is different though. I left today feeling like my scarbo is just never ever going to sound like I want, but I no that all the work I have done has helped it, and it's just me being impateint with it. If things are no better the next day, you have to seriously start asking yourself questions.
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