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Topic: How long do you work on a piece before...  (Read 1619 times)

Offline pita bread

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How long do you work on a piece before...
on: August 23, 2005, 06:24:22 AM
How long do you work on a piece before competing? I'm refering more to the highschool and college levels here.

Offline Bouter Boogie

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Re: How long do you work on a piece before...
Reply #1 on: August 23, 2005, 08:33:04 AM
Depends on which piece of course ::)
"The only love affair I have ever had was with music." - Maurice Ravel

Offline thierry13

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Re: How long do you work on a piece before...
Reply #2 on: August 23, 2005, 08:44:32 AM
I heard mei-ting learned Tango? and Feux-follet in 2 weeks ... should be around that, maybe a bit longer. Depends of your age too. When he was 14, took him 3 months to learn Gaspard de la nuit, and now he's like 22 or 23 ?

Offline pita bread

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Re: How long do you work on a piece before...
Reply #3 on: August 23, 2005, 07:38:57 PM
But how long did he work on the pieces before performing or competing with them?

I hear about people working on pieces for years before competing.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: How long do you work on a piece before...
Reply #4 on: August 24, 2005, 12:26:32 AM
Pieces you play in comepetion should done from memory, and should be absolutely effortless for you to play. Everything should be automatic, all your musical ideas solidly set. Then you can play it for competition or public peformances. Maybe it will take you 10 minutes or 10 years.
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Offline quantum

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Re: How long do you work on a piece before...
Reply #5 on: August 24, 2005, 04:55:37 PM
For most cases I usually have some conditions I personally would like to meet before I enter a piece in a competition:

1) I must be extreemly comfortable playing it, and connect with the music
2) Idealy it should have had at least 1 previous public performance
3) I should have been performing the piece for at least 1 year
4) I must be able to disect and analyze the piece, including playing it backwards if necessary. 

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Offline mikey6

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Re: How long do you work on a piece before...
Reply #6 on: August 28, 2005, 04:05:59 AM
I heard mei-ting learned Tango? and Feux-follet in 2 weeks ... should be around that, maybe a bit longer. Depends of your age too. When he was 14, took him 3 months to learn Gaspard de la nuit, and now he's like 22 or 23 ?

I find this very hard to believe.  By learning, is that having the notes down? coz anything other than that would be rather hard to do 2 weeks. How can you explore every detail of great works in such a short amount of time.  I heard someone learnt the Chopin emin concerto in 2 weeks for a competition, all the notes were there but that was it.
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: How long do you work on a piece before...
Reply #7 on: August 30, 2005, 04:32:54 AM
I find this very hard to believe. How can you explore every detail of great works in such a short amount of time.


Effective piano player hear what the music should ideally sound like before they even learn to play it. This means they could hum the entire piece out to you and explain expression they think is appropraite for each part. This mental pepartion if considered for x years before actually playing the piece sets up a catalyst for very fast physical learning of the piece.

Often when I learn pieces which I have loved for many years the memorisation is very automatic and if you forget what note you have to play you simply listen very intently on the mistake and correct yourself. Having the sound in your head instead of the music in front of your eyes is a good guide. I usually tell my students, look at the hands, if you do a mistake where is it, then how do you make it sound right what do you hear from within? If you still don't know then look at the sheet. The sheet music is the last resource. I believe it was Liszt who said sheet music was absolutely useless and should be looked at as a last resort.

This case is also true for students of my own who say "I really want to learn this piece, I have always loved it." The piece they give they know in an out they know exactly how it should sound because they have listened to great masters play it over and over again. So to me it is little suprise that they learn those piece much faster than pieces I choose for them.

Etudes don't take long to learn. They are usually written using a limited number of technical procedure at the keyboard, and usually then they place bias on one of the other. So learning Liszt, Chopin etudes in a fast amount of time is not really that special. I personally had to do memorise (not play at peformance level) Chopin 24 etudes in 2 weeks. Yep that is aborbing 2 per day and yes that is all day every day for 2 weeks at the piano. I can't say it is something I would suggest people to do but it overall isn't that difficult. It is however made many times easier controlling the memorisation with the ear. If you try to memorise a lot of music in a short space of time by relying on the sheet music too much you will be there much much longer than you hope for.
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Offline dmk

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Re: How long do you work on a piece before...
Reply #8 on: August 30, 2005, 04:42:02 AM
]
Pieces you play in comepetion should done from memory, and should be absolutely effortless for you to play. Everything should be automatic, all your musical ideas solidly set. Then you can play it for competition or public peformances. Maybe it will take you 10 minutes or 10 years.

I totally agree.

Its got nothing to do with time.

I would perform a piece in competition when its ready plain and simple.  What takes me a few months to get ready may take someone years and vice-versa, everyone has their different strengths.

I would certainly submit it to critical examination but not only my teacher but other professionals.  Sometimes when you play something so often you can convince yourself that it sounds right and that is how it should sound.
"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence"
Robert Fripp

Offline pianowelsh

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Re: How long do you work on a piece before...
Reply #9 on: September 21, 2005, 02:41:14 PM
My teachers have always advocated at least one year of performing it out first but thatts not how long it takes to learn it. The notes maybe 2/3 weeks depends on length/size/difficulty of piece memorised for teacher maybe one month again size is factor BUT i am a slow learner. ;)
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