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Forty Years in Perspective – The BIS Label’s Pianists

It is always a pleasure to congratulate a person who spent forty years in business, regardless of their trade. Therefor it was a very special moment for Piano Street when we got the chance to talk to Robert von Bahr, Founder of BIS Records, about the past, present and the future. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Teachers: How do you practice?  (Read 1773 times)
bernadette60614
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« on: May 04, 2013, 01:30:31 AM »

I thought perhaps one of the best ways to learn how to practice was to ask those who teach how they do!

Thanks!
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Bob
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 02:40:15 AM »

I do a routine to stay in shape.  Unfortunately, there's not much time for anything else.  I'm stuck in technique land.
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Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."
loletha
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 06:03:51 PM »

It's so, so hard! But I try to do two hours early in the morning (from 4am!) whenever I can...

Lola.
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elizasays
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2015, 05:57:25 AM »

I practise regularly, but don't do as much sight reading as I would like and very often abandon pieces halfway through, because I get side-tracked with lesson planning or practising something to demonstrate to my students.

I've made a commitment to myself, regarding the sight-reading part ... https://anitaelise.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/my-personal-sightreading-challenge-5-minutes-and-20-days-a-month/

Am hoping I can see it through, and keep it up every month
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2016, 02:51:33 AM »

I get students asking me this too but I don't think they can practice like me since I've developed my learning skills much higher than them. I am often practicing works of my students or searching for works I believe will benefit them in the future. When I practice for myself I have a large collection of works I ideally would like to play, they get sight read and majority are learned completely (or almost) without any other practice but reading. I also have a huge sight reading collection to challenge and develop my reading skills and even enjoy going on imslp.org and hitting random page until I find a piano piece. I don't do anywhere near as much listening as I use to, now I only listen predominantly to works I've never encountered before or pieces I've played for a while but never heard a recording of. I also for enjoyment write pages on how to logically see pattern in certain pieces or how to break it down, how I would go about memorising it and reading it efficiently, I like doing this with challenging music because making what is difficult into an easy process is very appealing to me.
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keypeg
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2016, 03:19:48 PM »

Thoughts:
Learning how to practice and being guided in this is extremely important and too often seems not to be done.  When I restarted the formerly self-taught piano after having lessons in another instruments where I learned what I did and did not want, I got a teacher who does teach this, and takes it seriously.  But you are asking teachers how they practise, and if this can help students.  That has been discussed a few times in my lessons.

One thing stressed is that some of the things we're taught are in fact the way professionals work, and that much of what amateurs and poorly taught people do are things that a professional does not do.  For example, an amateur / self-taught etc. person will start at the beginning, get to where it is difficult, go back to the beginning, do the same thing.  A professional will suss out where the difficulties are, work in small sections, bring those small sections together, practise the difficult parts first.  In that sense I have learned to practise "like my teacher", with the difference that in the beginning this is more under his guidance, where he has analyzed the piece, worked out the steps etc.  Ultimately the goal is that the student can do this.

It is different in the sense that a professional will use the tools he already has, while we are acquiring the tools.  Part of our task is learning how to do things: recognize notes, be able to read music, know which piano key corresponds to which note on the staff, move efficiently etc.  Part of our practising involves acquiring these tools.  A teacher may give particular tasks for getting these skills, which we have to carry out.  This is not part of a teacher's world.
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Bob
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2016, 02:48:01 AM »

When I have practiced actual music, it's ended up being smaller pieces that were used for a small performance.  I did work on something "more" before, maybe a medium-sized piece for me.  That ended up taking months.  What I noticed was that I was doing a lot of repetition on it to ingrain the notes. 
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Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."
vaniii
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 11:20:41 AM »

Everyday.

Scales: facility and navigation; in some respects listening to how I produce my sound and its evenness.

Concert Repertoire: for the sake of it; it needs to be at a point where you are simply bored of playing it, meaning you will just play it, and not try to play it.  The novelty of playing it should have have waned before the first performance; nerves are a sign this point is not there.

New Repertoire: important to see new things.  It is amazing how we crave comfort and familiarity.  Reading something new each day is enough to keep your mind sharp, and ready.

Improvisation:  random keys with standard progressions and scales.

I do not expect this from students, but the fact they know I do it is enough for them to understand they need to.  That is, the ones motivated enough to do so.
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