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How long is too long?? (Read 2241 times)

Offline Nana_Ama

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How long is too long??
« on: August 23, 2004, 06:42:37 PM »
On an average how long would you make your students work on a piece??  I am just curious.  I work on pieces from 1-3 months, but if the piece is really hard for me then it takes slightly longer.  
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Offline janice

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Re: How long is too long??
«Reply #1 on: August 23, 2004, 06:59:58 PM »
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On an average how long would you make your students work on a piece??  I am just curious.  I work on pieces from 1-3 months, but if the piece is really hard for me then it takes slightly longer.  


At what level are you talking about?  I have worked on Beethoven Sonatas for several months to get them up to public performance level.  It is not unusual for a very advanced pianist to work on a piece for a year or more.  But for an elementary school aged student to work on "Fur Elise" for 3 months is not out of the question.  So.....see, it depends on how advanced the pianist is and how difficult the piece is.  :)
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Offline Swan

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Re: How long is too long??
«Reply #2 on: August 24, 2004, 06:10:45 AM »
I like my students to work on a few pieces at a time.  I give them (or they choose) a 'challenge' piece, i.e. something that is quite difficult for them and will need to study for a while (... 3 months to me is still a l o n g time to be working on one piece, it tells me that the piece is still a little 'beyond' them).   I have an informal recital every term in my studio (and a term is about 10 weeks), and a formal recital (open to the public)  at the end of the year.  My students prepare a 'challenge' piece for every recital.  

They also have other assignments that aren't as difficult.  Sometimes I give them two or three weeks to complete it (the idea is just to set a goal to work towards - I don't chop their heads off if they don't reach their goal), others I expect at performance standard in one week (these are very achievable for them).

I like the idea of students coming across the different skills required with contrasting pieces regularly.  Small gradul stepping stones they can manage until they come to a piece such as "Fur Elise" and can manage it within the month or so, and then move on to something else.  

I do concentrate quite a bit on similar standard pieces before we go up a notch.  

I really liked Steve's comment in another thread where he said something about if you can't recognise the difficulty of a piece, you aren't ready for it.  

I guess I like to get my students 'ready' before they tackle anything that will take them longer than three months.  I don't have any of my students working on just one piece for three months.

On average I like to set a goal for students to achieve between 5 - 8 pieces every term.  The pieces will be at varying standards though - one or two very difficult, perhaps one ridiculously easy, a few more about a similar standard, etc.

I do this because I believe if practising intensities are variable, it is easier to keep interest, feel you are achieving frequently, and maintain motivation.

I also love so much of the music out there that I want my students to experience it as much as possible.  They have their whole lives ahead of them to tackle whatever difficult piece they like.

Offline bernhard

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Re: How long is too long??
«Reply #3 on: August 26, 2004, 10:59:29 AM »
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I also love so much of the music out there that I want my students to experience it as much as possible.  They have their whole lives ahead of them to tackle whatever difficult piece they like.


This is so true. Many people seem to be obsessed with difficulty. And yet I would estimate that 90% of the (high quality) classical piano repertory is not that difficult (mostly on the grade 4 8 level). In fact pianists are truly spoiled for choice.

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Spatula

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Re: How long is too long??
«Reply #4 on: August 26, 2004, 09:30:46 PM »
Its been a whole summer of 4 months and I've only done 1 and a 1/2 pages of Chopins Fan Imp and all of Rachs Prelude no 5 at about 1/2 the tempo.  It takes many months for me to finally call it performance quality.  So don't fret just because a piece is taking 3 months and feels like forever.

:) ;)

Spatula

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Re: How long is too long??
«Reply #5 on: August 26, 2004, 09:31:43 PM »
I also think a secret to piano is not only to enjoy the performance of the finished product, but take time to enjoy drilling and practing it during the early stages of working on the repretoire.

Offline Nana_Ama

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Re: How long is too long??
«Reply #6 on: August 27, 2004, 12:42:24 AM »
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I like my students to work on a few pieces at a time.  I give them (or they choose) a 'challenge' piece, i.e. something that is quite difficult for them and will need to study for a while (... 3 months to me is still a l o n g time to be working on one piece, it tells me that the piece is still a little 'beyond' them).   I have an informal recital every term in my studio (and a term is about 10 weeks), and a formal recital (open to the public)  at the end of the year.  My students prepare a 'challenge' piece for every recital.  

They also have other assignments that aren't as difficult.  Sometimes I give them two or three weeks to complete it (the idea is just to set a goal to work towards - I don't chop their heads off if they don't reach their goal), others I expect at performance standard in one week (these are very achievable for them).

I like the idea of students coming across the different skills required with contrasting pieces regularly.  Small gradul stepping stones they can manage until they come to a piece such as "Fur Elise" and can manage it within the month or so, and then move on to something else.  

I do concentrate quite a bit on similar standard pieces before we go up a notch.  

I really liked Steve's comment in another thread where he said something about if you can't recognise the difficulty of a piece, you aren't ready for it.  

I guess I like to get my students 'ready' before they tackle anything that will take them longer than three months.  I don't have any of my students working on just one piece for three months.

On average I like to set a goal for students to achieve between 5 - 8 pieces every term.  The pieces will be at varying standards though - one or two very difficult, perhaps one ridiculously easy, a few more about a similar standard, etc.

I do this because I believe if practising intensities are variable, it is easier to keep interest, feel you are achieving frequently, and maintain motivation.

I also love so much of the music out there that I want my students to experience it as much as possible.  They have their whole lives ahead of them to tackle whatever difficult piece they like.


Wow, you sound just like my teacher! lol  ;D
I scare people; people scare me; it's a mutual thing!!!

Offline Swan

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Re: How long is too long??
«Reply #7 on: August 27, 2004, 04:29:34 AM »
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Wow, you sound just like my teacher! lol ;D


Is that a good or bad thing?  :-/ :)

Offline bernhard

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Re: How long is too long??
«Reply #8 on: August 27, 2004, 10:17:00 AM »
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Wow, you sound just like my teacher! lol ;D


Maybe she IS your teacher!  :o ;D
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)