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The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

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Author Topic: How many hours you should practice to be perfect??  (Read 4644 times)
buhdaporn
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« on: August 04, 2009, 02:15:47 PM »

I have 2 questions. For CLASSICAL

1. How many hours you should practice to be perfect??

2. I'm in high school now and how long should I practice at least because I didn't have much time (need to studying SAT and stuffs) ??
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artsyalchemist
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2009, 02:26:29 PM »

If your goal is to be perfect, you may be setting yourself up for some disappointment.  The goal of music is not to be "perfect", but to enjoy what you're doing.  I've noticed I've had much more fun in the work process than the end product.

As for practicing, it really depends on work ethic.  If you can get a lot done in a short amount of time, then you'll need less time to practice than someone who doesn't process information quickly. 
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turayza
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2009, 04:01:44 PM »

Perfect? No amount of practice will make you perfect, sadly. D:
But the amount you need to practice really depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Do you have a complete program every year? Or maybe more? How well do you want to polish off your pieces--just enough for yourself and family at home, or competition-worthy? (I'm going to assume that you're a Junior, if you're prepping for the SAT.) It also has to do with what you want to get out of music...if you want to end up with a performance major or something of the sort, you'll probably want to devote more of your day to practicing, but if piano isn't in your career plan, you might want to use more of that time for school (not that you can't practice a lot anyways XD).
And it doesn't really matter how much time you spend practicing, but how much you get done in the time you do spend.
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jgallag
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2009, 03:05:19 AM »

First of all, if you're anything like the high schoolers I went to school with, or myself, you are not spending so much time studying that you can't practice piano that much. Just about everyone I knew was involved in sports, held jobs, and did other extracurricular activities. You're also probably not studying for your SAT's until the last two weeks, anyways. Sorry for being rude, but I highly doubt there are any high schoolers out there with a work ethic that has them study for more than an hour a day (unless cramming or they love the subject).

Colleges don't weigh your SAT scores too heavily. Your regular grades matter more. They want consistency, not a really good grade one day of your life. In fact, one would probably see your regular grades reflected in your SAT score, unless you had a horrible day. So they're really nothing to worry about (Though I must admit I got a 2170. Trust me, nothing suffered because of my SAT study habits, probably because I didn't spend too much time on it  Undecided). And you want to know something really annoying about grades? I graduated as the salutatorian of my class, the valedictorian was 0.38 ahead of me. Less than half a point! But now that I'm in college (Music School, an average of 80 would have sufficed, let alone 96.18), not one of my music friends, my honors friends, my honors teachers, or my music teachers care that I was salutatorian. It's not a good conversation topic. (Okay, there's one slight exception. My piano teacher cares because she thinks my intense studying(hah!)/worrying about grades might be a source of tension for me.) Bottom line, do what you can, but don't push yourself too far. The things you're truly good at in life probably won't be reflected in your grades (though they may), but that doesn't mean your talents don't exist and that there aren't people out there willing to help you with them.

I would recommend the same thing for your study habits and your practice: consistency and efficiency. Don't waste time, and one of the biggest time wasters is not practicing every day. I'm not saying you can't miss a day here and there, but try not to miss two in a row, and if you do miss one practice the next two days at least. Memory decays very, very fast without daily reinforcement. That said, once something (information or music) is firmly in your memory, daily reinforcement is no longer needed. But until then, you must practice every day, whether it be math, french, or Chopin.

Ultimately, your daily practice time will depend on your goals. What pieces do you want to learn? By when? Be realistic, and be concrete. Deadlines work wonders, when timed correctly. Perfection is not a realistic goal, it is an ideal we strive for though we know we can never reach it. We can work towards perfection, dream of perfection, but we cannot achieve it, and at the end of the day, you must achieve something. You must have a goal for each practice session, even if it be the same one from yesterday, and that goal must be achievable, and it must be achieved. So it seems then that your daily practice time may vary somewhat. It may take you a half-hour to learn 8 bars one day, but only 10 min the next day to relearn them. You will do more on some days and less on others.

One final comment, which seems to be a common theme on my posts: What does your teacher say? If you don't have one, you need one if you want real results. If you do have one, you are paying him/her to teach you. Therefore, he/she should have a specified amount for you to practice on a daily basis. He/she should be able to tell you what is reasonable to achieve between lessons.
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braintist
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2009, 04:13:01 AM »

It all depends on how much you love playing the piano and the piece you are trying to learn Smiley
Perfection does not only consists of mastering the technicalities but also making the piece fit for the ear
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go12_3
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2009, 01:24:16 PM »

Even several hours of practicing, nothing can be perfect, but good enough to be satisfied with the end results.  Good enough for the teacher to recognize that you worked hard on a piece.
Good enough to try a bit harder.  Good enough so that the pianist will feel satisfied. 
But, to expect perfection, then we need to be  robotic to play. 

 Each piece requires different techniques and approaches in order to master.  Practicing has to be done well by not being wasteful in finger patterns and rhythms and so forth.  Eventually, perfection may come along and some pianists can attain that goal in their lives because they are trained for many years to practice, practice and practice to get the piece imprinted into their minds.

But, we cannot get discouraged as we learn a piece, it makes us  try even harder to play better.  Yes, play better than yesterday and hopefully a lot better than 6 months ago.

best wishes,

go12_3
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ramseytheii
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2009, 01:38:08 PM »

10,000 hours.

Walter Ramsey


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The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

michel dvorsky
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2009, 08:46:29 PM »

According to my old Professor Lyubov Dubov (who studied in Chelyabinsk under a pupil of Lang Lang), the manner in which one practices is wholly irrelevant -- only that one practices for a total of 11 hours every day, at least 29 days a month (even in February), and at least 11 months a year.  A day of practice wherein the pupil commits less than 11 paves the way for a dangerous indolence (the pupil may develop what is called a LIFE).  On the other hand, more than 11 hours a day weakens the consitution, increasing susceptibility to illness such as typhus.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2009, 12:38:08 PM »

10,000 hours.

Walter Ramsey

There is some evidence that 10,000 hours is, surprisingly, a necessary AND sufficient condition. 

If we worked a 40 hour week that would take five years.  (and that is the reason that in my field, engineering, you must have five years work experience before qualifying to take the exam for professional licensure) 

At 3 hours practice per day, which is not unreasonable, that will take 9 years. 
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Tim
ramseytheii
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2009, 09:28:16 PM »

There is some evidence that 10,000 hours is, surprisingly, a necessary AND sufficient condition. 

If we worked a 40 hour week that would take five years.  (and that is the reason that in my field, engineering, you must have five years work experience before qualifying to take the exam for professional licensure) 

At 3 hours practice per day, which is not unreasonable, that will take 9 years. 

Thanks for doing the math on that, I always wondered what 10,000 hours really was.

Walter Ramsey


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rachfan
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2009, 04:36:24 AM »

I agree with the others here.  Perfection in performance is the ideal we as pianists always strive for, but none of us ever attains it.  Once in a great while we come close, but not close enough to be perfect.  I believe it was Horowitz who once said that if an artist performs a piece 1,000 times and nears perfection with it just once in his lifetime, then that is a very fortunate person!  
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go12_3
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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2009, 03:09:46 PM »

You practice until you feel satisfied with the piece you are working on.
It's an ongoing process.  There are times I hardly practice and it's okay to give the mind
and music a break.  It's an individual process that we go through daily, weekly, monthly..
all through our lives.  Happy practicing!   Grin

best wishes,

go12_3
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redragon
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2009, 01:30:44 AM »

It depends Who you are. i practice during TV commercials and when i'm bored. Luckily, i watch alot of TV and am bored rather often. I get in about four hours a day, depending on the day.

There's a fine line between practicing a good amount of time and overpracticing. If you have variety in what you play, overpracticing shouldn't be a problem.

 
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tds
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2009, 03:17:00 PM »

music is not about perfection. if you seeking it, u r  after a wrong something..
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dignity, love and joy.
go12_3
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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2009, 03:20:43 PM »

music is not about perfection. if you seeking it, u r  after a wrong something..

I agree!  Music is about feelings and expressing those inner feelings from within.  Then
every note will come as perfection in the mind as you play a piece.     Cool

 I know I have played Chopin's Etude 10/1 and it was difficult to learn, but I can NOW play HT with ease.
Yes, it may not be *perfectly*  the tempo that it ought to be, but the main thing is
my love of this piece whether or not whatever tempo I play it in.   Smiley

best wishes,

go12_3
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miriamko
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2009, 07:54:28 AM »

set a certain goal each day and don't get up from the piano until it is reached. Playing a passage for hours with a wrong arm movement ,for example, will just make things worse. Time is not a consideration . Use your teacher's advice and your own creativity to solve individual problems. If you set many goals for the same practise session, then, yes it will take hours. just be realistic and enjoy
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bellywelly
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« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2009, 11:34:38 AM »

There is some evidence that 10,000 hours is, surprisingly, a necessary AND sufficient condition. 

If we worked a 40 hour week that would take five years.  (and that is the reason that in my field, engineering, you must have five years work experience before qualifying to take the exam for professional licensure) 

At 3 hours practice per day, which is not unreasonable, that will take 9 years. 
i've been learning piano for nearly 9 years now. but im still way behind from perfection. maybe 100,000 hrs would be more precise. Smiley
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Sigismond Thalberg’s 200th Anniversary

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« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2009, 02:09:43 PM »

Generally, I practice 2 - 3 hours a day.  Now that I am preparing for a concert next month, I've bumped it up to 4 hours.

Also, how one practices is important.  Hands together, hands alone, with music, by memory, with / without metronome, etc..  Keep varying it.  Moreover, I cannot overemphasize the value of being able to play each hand alone by memory.  It induces a completely new level of musical understanding.

Go get 'em!!!
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