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Topic: How to get Organised  (Read 2289 times)

Offline Liween

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How to get Organised
on: December 03, 2004, 02:45:25 AM
 ::)  Hi I have posted some questions in the forum and I appreciate every single contribution that I received.

Ok right now I am kind of confused --- the reason is that I seems to be very distracted and do not know how to organise my practice routine.  Well, I have spoken to a few people and they also face the same problem especially so for fresh beginners. 

On hand I have the following :-

1) 2 pieces (Yankee Doodle & Silent night) which were given by my teacher
2) Czerny ops 599
3) Alfred adult level 1
4) My daugher's beginner books (basic)
5) Some downloaded materials (learning piano) from the web
6) Song sheets (elementary, level 1-3)
7) Tuneful graded studies by Dorothy Bradley (Pre-grade 1-Grade 1)
8) John Thomson's modern course for the piano (The first grade book)

HOw am I suppose to organise my practice routine when sometimes I do not even know where to start and what to practise.  Somehow or rather I find that I am not learning SYSTEMATICALLY. 

I saw in another post Bernard mentioned something like the first 3-6 months is the toughest.  He also say about his student able to play a grade 8 piece in 4-6 mths time (amazing !).   

The learning pace seems to be so fast by Bernard which I dont think I will come across here in our place.  Most of the exams are base on ABRSM and as normal,  it takes almost 1.5 yr to reach grade 1 (fresh from beginners) and 1 year for 1 grade subsequently  (So it's almost 8-9 yrs to be grade 8 or fastest is around 7 !!!!)   

I believe this topic has been discussed before but pardon me that I am unable to locate the exact thing in my mind trying the search engine.

Talking about myself,  I am a late beginner at 36 and just took 5 hourly lessons with roughly 1-2 hrs practice every night.   With this rate, how far can I reach in a year's time ... but AGAIN (many people here stressed about the correct method of learning, correct techniques)  Well for correct techniques, probably more or less I can gain from my teacher but talking about correct method of learning.  As tradition as it is,  most of the teachers here also take 8-9 years to reach grade 8 and of course they will be following strictly the kind of learning/teaching methods in the past.

Therefore,  this trend seems to past on and on ..... if I have not come across this forum and read what Bernard and some of you says (especially reaching grade 8 in 2-3 yrs time and learning methods) ...  I will be contently follow and accept at this rate.   

Anyone can advise me ??? Even in my dreams I am dreaming about this .... :)

Offline galonia

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Re: How to get Organised
Reply #1 on: December 03, 2004, 10:37:04 AM
Don't be discouraged - everyone learns at different rates, and remember Bernhard's students see him every day, so that speeds up their progress an awful lot compared to students who see their teacher once a week.

Sorry I can only offer words of encouragement, I can't offer any help with getting organised - I'm a no-planning person; everything just happens to me at the right place at the right time, so I've never seen the need.  Plus I like to surprise myself...

Offline bernhard

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Re: How to get Organised
Reply #2 on: December 03, 2004, 12:57:53 PM
Galonia is right. I attribute 90% of my results simply to the fact that my students have daily lessons. My way of teaching is not that different from other teachers. Any teacher/student prepared to have daily lessons should experience similar results.

As for organising your time, have a look at these threads:

(how to organise piano practise in short/medium/long term – Principle of memory retention – Principle of 15 minute sessions – stopping when you achieve your goals. Teachers should teach how to learn)

(Mostly about the 7 X 20 principle, how do you know when you mastered a section, when to use the methods, and when they are not necessary – investigating the reasons for difficult)

(More abou 20 minutes sessions – practice starts when you get it right – definition of mastery : learned – mastered – omniscience – Aim for easy – final speed in practice must be faster than performance speed – Example: Chopin Op. 10 no. 2 – outline – repeated note groups – HS x HT)

(More stuff about 7 x 20 minutes – Progress is the ultimate decider – How to break a piece in practice sessions – Example: Satie gymnopedie – importance of planning – aim at 100 pieces per year – Example: Bach Cm WTC 2 -)

(more details: learned – mastered –omniscience – why repertory must be paramount – how to work on 20 pieces per month – a case for easy repertory – importance of discipline and of having a plan – analogy of mastering a piece and making wine – musicality is ultimately good taste – Example: Beethoven op. 49 no. 2- A list of progressive repertory to lead to Rach prelude op. 32 no. 5 – mastery is when it is easy)

(No skipped steps – usual places where students go wrong – HT x HS)

(Paul’s report on B’s method. HS x HT – Example: Lecuona’s malaguena – 7x20 – need to adjust and adapt – repeated note-groups – importance of HS – hand memory – 7 items only in consciousness – playing in automatic pilot - )

(collection of links on everything discussed above)

Best wishes,

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)

Offline claudio

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Re: How to get Organised
Reply #3 on: December 03, 2004, 01:31:14 PM
hi liween,

just a word of encouragement. i am 35 and took up piano playing 2 years ago, have a regular job and lots of other social/carity/etc. occupations that let me only practice two to three hours each night. so maybe similar to you.

i am working now on mozart's piano sonata KV 545 which i realy like and have recently finished schuberts moments musicaux nr. 2 (thought this took definitely too long and might have been too difficult for now  :o).

my guess is that you will make a much faster progress than you think and is
expected from this ABRSM organization.

however, two things to consider.
- i am also a keen bernhard-reader though his method has one major drawback (that he just agreed on): you either see your teacher daily or you have lots of self-discipline. i certainly have not got it  :P i am very enthusiastic and ambitious but only human and there are days that are better to shut out the real world and some are worse. therefore...
- try to focus. get rid of at least 4 of the books you mentioned. don't even think about them or, if you do, try not to think of them as s.th. you have to study. just s.th. that you might look into for fun. this will prevent you from having guilt. besides - just my guess - if you are able to play the "Alfred" studies, your daughters beginners book will be piece of cake. so don't worry about it.


Offline Liween

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Re: How to get Organised
Reply #4 on: December 06, 2004, 05:24:17 AM
 :) Thanks everyone for your kind reply and especially Bernard for the various links.  I have printed some and will read thru on my way home. 

Well, before I can digest the contents, I am currently learning on myself without my teacher's knowledge "Tema E Variazione" by Muzio Clementi (hope you know this piece).  What I am going to ask is that is it too early for me to explore this kind of music as I am still a very fresh beginner.  However, after almost a week of learning bar by bar, I am coming to the end though some bar seems to be more tricky than others which I need more time to get it.  But overall I think I still able to manage it as I am able to play HT most of the time.

My practice method for this piece is playing each bar HS 7 times for RH follow by LH and then I combine to HT 7 times again.  However,  I dont take more than 15 mins for 7 repetitions thus sometimes I can do maybe more than 30 times. 

Am I getting correct at this 7/20 rule ?

Also do you memorise each bar as you learn ?

Hi Claudio, may I know which are the 4 books which you think I should discard ? At this moment I am learning by myself the tuneful graded studies and Thomson at the same time and I spent around 45mins on both.

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