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Maintaining fitness and practice? (Read 1563 times)

Offline kurzya

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Maintaining fitness and practice?
« on: April 06, 2016, 12:03:47 PM »
Hey everyone,
Just out of curiosity, how do you all manage the rest of your life and practice time?
For me, combining a 7 hour school day with 5 hours practice tends to be pretty tiring and it's difficult finding time for physical activity. Does anyone have any solution for staying fit without sacrificing other things?

Offline visitor

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #1 on: April 06, 2016, 01:56:20 PM »
everything worthwhile or that we consider important usually has a price to be paid.  there's 24 hours in one day, so you have to decide what is important to you and prioritize and compromise accordingly.  
don't fall for the trap of 'balance' trying to balance all the time is a great way not be excellent in any one thing. there can be times when in the long scheme you can balance, maybe a few short months in prep for a competition you practice more, other time in the year you relax it and play out side more, other times you need to sleep more because of school demands and the need to rest to allow proper learning and recall to set in while sleeping, ie focus on grades at times, it's all going to be a push pull, give take , sort of existence. you just have to decide and be ok with that.
however, fitness/self care should be thought of like basic hygiene and body maitenance. we don't say we were too busy to bathe or brush our teeth,  etc. we decide if it's mandatory and important to us and we make it happen either way. if both practice and fitness which can compete for some time blocks are equally important then you'll likely need to look at sleeping a bit less for a time, or sacrifice time with others to make it all fit.

Offline indianajo

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #2 on: April 06, 2016, 02:38:00 PM »
When I was a student, I practiced piano an hour a day.  
I did not have a workout routine, but I walked home from school 1.2 miles 4 days a week from band practice. I was carrying about 10 lb of books and about 12 lb of a bassoon case, so it wasn't a snap.
In sports season, I walked to and from the school Friday or Saturday evenings to play in the band, without the bassoon and books.  
We did march around the field and mark time with instruments during sports season, which made us pant a bit.  I think an aerobic routine would have increased my wind pressure and a thicker reed would have improved the tone of my bassoon.  But I didn't learn about working out and lung capacity until the US Army taught me calesthentics and running for the PT test age 18, followed by the groundbreaking publishing of Dr. Cooper's book Aerobics.
I also practiced bassoon 30 min a day in the last 6 years of public school, which got to be too much my 11th year of school and I gave up the piano. Homework load in the pre-college course was about 2.5 hours a night, peaking on Thursdays.  
When I quit piano study I was attempting Beethoven Pathetique Sonata, not very well, after 7 years of private lessons, and one year studying with my Mother.  

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #3 on: April 06, 2016, 03:46:19 PM »
I don't even practice five hours a day and I'm a performance major.

Stop practicing so damn much and get those gains!!!!

And when you go to the gym idk if you lift or run or whatever but I try to stay there from half an hour to an hour TOPS.

What's with these people lifting for like two and a half hours at the gym???  Like my dude you wanna stimulate your muscles not annihilate them!
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #4 on: April 06, 2016, 07:27:47 PM »
Yeah, it is hard. Just as visitor wrote, trying to keep "balance" only results in stress and frustration if you do not manage to do everything.
I cancelled my gym membership last year to save time for piano (gym is 15 min drive from my house) and started working out at home. But.... If I need more time for piano or anything else I will always cut down on working out. And this is really bad >:(
So I think I will need to renew my gym membership and just make a fix weekly schedule and just stick to it. I hope that will help to maintain regular physical activity. It is also nice to meet people at fitness club and work out together. Moreover, if you pay your membership than you really need to go and work out bc it is a waste not to use it.
 Like visitor said, I also think physical activity is something that we owe to our body just like basic hygiene and beauty routine. I am sometimes amused how some people spend hours having their nails, make up, hair done but you can tell they never take care of their bodies.
And how do you keep yourself fit? Gym?
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #5 on: April 06, 2016, 08:01:18 PM »
I
I used to be a gym rat would go all the time. Now these years I just stay home and get fat. My friends say I'm still very strong though we moved a friend's stuff to a new apt the other weekend and they were amazed at my strength. I used to bench 275 lb 10 times without spotter. (Never found out my max bc I was afraid and I didn't have a spotter and didn't like asking people but I did 300lb a few instances , I'm sure I could have done a slight more). Do military single hand dumbbel press above my head w 75 lb weight one hand. I was completely ripped six pack yes I was. This was many years ago unfortunately.

Yes it is Internet and I wouldn't suppose anyone would think I'm not exaggerating but oh well. Could care less anyone believe me I'm just telling kawai above cuz I want to show off to her. Lol lol 8)
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #6 on: April 06, 2016, 08:13:22 PM »
I don't even practice five hours a day and I'm a performance major.


I was reading one of the great violinists yesterday.

He said 3 hours a day is plenty, 4 if you're not that talented.  If you need 5, you've chosen the wrong career, drop it and do something else.

Can't remember who - Kreisler, Menuhin, Stern, Heifetz, one of those. 
Tim

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #7 on: April 06, 2016, 08:34:35 PM »
Ok, I have just had a really good laugh. I feel I can skip the crunches today.
Of course I was not laughing at the Lbs you lifted,no ;)
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #8 on: April 06, 2016, 08:52:47 PM »
Yes you were laughing at the juvenile-ity of the post. Me too I read it again and I'm lol too. Wow
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Offline kurzya

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #9 on: April 06, 2016, 11:34:55 PM »
Regarding the number of hours I practice, although 5 sounds like a bit it's split between two instruments, so it's almost never 5 hours of just piano.

Offline mjames

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #10 on: April 06, 2016, 11:58:33 PM »
I was reading one of the great violinists yesterday.

He said 3 hours a day is plenty, 4 if you're not that talented.  If you need 5, you've chosen the wrong career, drop it and do something else.

Can't remember who - Kreisler, Menuhin, Stern, Heifetz, one of those.  

I guess Liszt or Clara Schumann weren't talented.

One needs to put these type of quotes in context. Is he talking about what he did when he was learning violin in private lessons/conservatory during his youth, or is he describing his practice regime as a CONCERT musician?  

We're all different, and we do what we need to do. Your practice regime should be about you and only you, not Chopin or Horowitz; do what you need to do.

OP: I honestly see no point in investing time in "gym stuff." If you really need to keep yourself in shape, ride your bike to school and back everyday.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #11 on: April 07, 2016, 12:57:55 AM »


OP: I honestly see no point in investing time in "gym stuff." If you really need to keep yourself in shape, ride your bike to school and back everyday.

PSSSH riding your bike to and from school every day ain't nothin.  Unless he lives like a bagillion miles away from school.

Might as well get a planet fitness membership or join a crossfit class.

He gonna have to cut from something.  School isn't an option for obvious reasons.  Sleep isn't an option because working out and not getting any sleep is stupid.  The most viable answer is practice.  

Unless you gotta memorize like 10 pages of music a week, I doubt that you absolutely NEED to practice five hours a day.  Even for college auditions, practicing five hours a day will get you nowhere.  Piano and whatever other instrument you play isn't about just practicing, it's a lifestyle.  Go outside! Talk to the opposite sex!  Go to the gym!  Eat some booty (nasty)!  There's more to life than just piano.


Also I think it depends on how much in shape the OP is.  I mean, if he weighs like 180 pure muscle and can bench 550 and able to run a five minute mile, then the OP doesn't really need to worry about his/her fitness.  However, if the OP is like 300 pounds diabetic and like 40% body fat then this is more important than piano.

So question for you OP.  What's your body like?  Can you run for a long time? How many pull-ups, dips, and push-ups can you do.  Are you happy with the way you look when you go to the beach?  Are you self conscious about showing the opposite sex your body? 
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline mjames

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #12 on: April 07, 2016, 01:27:56 AM »
However, if the OP is like 300 pounds and like 40% body fat then this is more important than piano.

 ;D



Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #13 on: April 07, 2016, 01:29:52 AM »
;D




Eew

That's a lot of heart and joint problems man.

OP if you're really badass you could workout at a park.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline kurzya

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #14 on: April 07, 2016, 09:34:48 AM »
Unfortunately I'm only a 5 minute walk from school, so that isn't really an option to extend on.
As a non diabetic, 5"3, 132 pound female I have not quite reached the condition of the man in the picture  ;D but I wouldn't consider myself all that fit, because the physiotherapist banned me from running for two years because of knee injuries  :-\
Living in a tiny town of 950, we don't have too many park workout places..
Also, as you're all commenting on the amount of practice I do, how much do you then think is necessary for an aspiring pianist?

Offline ahinton

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #15 on: April 07, 2016, 09:50:31 AM »
I have not quite reached the condition of the man in the picture
You do know who it is, I hope?!...

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
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The Sorabji Archive

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #16 on: April 07, 2016, 12:02:40 PM »
..
Also, as you're all commenting on the amount of practice I do, how much do you then think is necessary for an aspiring pianist?

How much practice, or how much exercise?

Practice:  minimum 2 hrs daily, maximum 4.  Less than 2 hrs isn't enough, if you need more than 4 you're doing something wrong and should fix it instead of working more.  At the end of this note I'll quote Tom Ervin, even though it's a much different instrument.

Exercise:  dunno exactly, but spending 2 to 4 hours daily sitting down is EXTREMELY unhealthy.  The body was simply not designed to do that.  Since you have to anyway, try to compensate with at least a mild exercise program. 

This is an old, old article from Tom Ervin, who at the time was professor of trombone at a university, I think around 1993 or so.  I added the bold to a couple of sentences. 

Quote
If You Practice….
 

Let us discuss the benefits that come from focused practice, and the need for such practice by any trombonist who is ambitious, or is considering a musical career. This article was originally submitted to the trombone list in September 1996. The list also holds many fine posts on structuring and optimizing practice time.



If you practice the trombone for 2-3 hours weekly (six half-hours, whatever), you will slowly learn the notes and some rhythms. You can develop a fairly nice midrange sound if you simulate a good example, like a teacher. You can have fun. Many beginners, junior high trombonists, and some high school players practice this way.

(And I’m not counting ensemble rehearsal time in this. It does not really count. Well, yes it might build your endurance, you can memorize the field show, and you learn a lot about playing with other musicians, how to act, how to follow a conductor maybe, how to take directions. But this is not the same as the skills gained in the practice room.)

If you will practice 5-6 hours a week, you can actually make some slow progress if you manage that time very carefully. You will probably find time to do a more comprehensive warm-up routine. You can actually, probably, get material Ready To Play in a lesson, learn the studies well enough to play them with no reading mistakes, no hesitations, few errors. You may find time to work on the band parts. There may also be a little time available to truly Practice some of the Plain Technical Work, maintenance, that we should all try to do: extensive flexibility routines, scales and arpeggios galore, the weird keys, dynamic workouts, etc.

If you can get the practice hours up to ten, week after week (40 a month), you will notice some important and valuable developments in your playing. You will become more “fit.” You can handle 5 or 6 books at a time, or more. There will be more time to regularly address things the Little People often neglect: air exercises, tunes by ear, high and low range, some jazz, recording yourself, clefs, the outside keys, real sight-reading, duets with peers, tough etudes, audition materials, orchestral excerpts, jury solos, vibrato, quality time with pianists. Your reading will really improve! You won’t be sore the day after a big blow. You can use the metronome, mirror and tuner properly. Do dozens of routines of flexibilities, scales, arpreggios. If you find something really hard, there is time to work it out, and work it up. There will be time to solve any bad playing habits. You will be thinking about trombone while you sleep! You’ll be quite proud of your playing and your progress. You will deserve to Get Some Work.

If you will develop the stamina to really practice 15-20 hours a week, then you get All Of The Above PLUS you’ll tear through the literature much quicker, build a repertoire after a while, learn tunes and the changes, progress quickly with unusual techniques, review old material, be a serious competitor at professional auditions, and much more.

If you cannot do this . . . well, the benefits will be elusive. Know that there are students all around the country practicing 20+ hours a week. You will meet them, at the audition. There will be one winner.

(Some other instrumentalists will find these numbers a bit low; and maybe they are low. Ambitious pianists and string players devote much more time to practice, because they can.)
Tim

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #17 on: April 07, 2016, 01:53:28 PM »
Yes you were laughing at the juvenile-ity of the post. Me too I read it again and I'm lol too. Wow

It was sweet that you wanted to show off to me;-) Well, ok, and bc of those many Lbs too.
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #18 on: April 07, 2016, 02:15:16 PM »
Unfortunately I'm only a 5 minute walk from school, so that isn't really an option to extend on.
As a non diabetic, 5"3, 132 pound female I have not quite reached the condition of the man in the picture  ;D but I wouldn't consider myself all that fit, because the physiotherapist banned me from running for two years because of knee injuries  :-\
Living in a tiny town of 950, we don't have too many park workout places..
Also, as you're all commenting on the amount of practice I do, how much do you then think is necessary for an aspiring pianist?

It depends on the person.  What I PERSONALLY do is practice in increments of like half an hour up to like 2-4 hours.  Of course if you have to prepare something FAST, that's gonna go up, but too much practice is unhealthy.  For me personally.  

Nobody NEEDS to practice 5+ hours a day, but I'm not saying it doesn't have its benefits.  I'm saying that shaving off an hour or two for other activities either won't hurt or might benefit your overall growth.  More doesn't = better.  Just cause some dude practices 12 hours a day doesn't mean anything.

So in short, whatever is conducive to your growth while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Okay so in terms of fitness what's your goal?  Is it more cardio oriented or strength oriented.  Or both.  Cause if it's cardio, you can do that anywhere.  You don't need a gym.  However if it's strength, you might have to get creative.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #19 on: April 07, 2016, 07:17:33 PM »
like 40% body fat then this is more important than piano.

That's a good approximation of my body fat. However my fat is pretty strong.
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Offline kawai_cs

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #20 on: April 07, 2016, 08:23:57 PM »
That's a good approximation of my body fat. However my fat is pretty strong.

40% + sense of humor is better than 6 pack ;)
Sorry for off topic :-X

Edit: and playing a bunch of Chopin etudes;D
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #21 on: April 07, 2016, 08:52:06 PM »
40% + sense of humor is more sexy than 6 pack ;)
Sorry for off topic :-X

Edit: and playing a bunch of Chopin etudes;D

You play as many as I do just about. Dont sandbag yourself !
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Rondo Alla Turca

Offline mjames

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #22 on: April 07, 2016, 09:37:38 PM »
You do know who it is, I hope?!...

Best,

Alistair
OHEMGEE

If being obese meant that i could sound like OGDON, then SIGN ME UP. that guys touch was incredIBLE!!!!!

Pls c his rach 1st sonata. Tear inducing touch.

Plus his wife was pretty hot.

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #23 on: April 07, 2016, 11:02:05 PM »
You play as many as I do just about. Dont sandbag yourself !

Did you mean "Don't saddleback yourself?" 
 ;D
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #24 on: April 07, 2016, 11:20:54 PM »
40% + sense of humor is more sexy than 6 pack ;)
Sorry for off topic :-X

Edit: and playing a bunch of Chopin etudes;D


Come on now we ALL know the funniest people aren't fat.

Cough cough Kevin hart and kat Williams

Actually they're not that funny ndvermind.

Ndvermind they are
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Offline Bob

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #25 on: April 07, 2016, 11:45:29 PM »
Part is having energy.  You can have the time, but not the energy.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: Maintaining fitness and practice?
«Reply #26 on: April 07, 2016, 11:57:21 PM »
Come on now we ALL know the funniest people aren't fat.

Cough cough Kevin hart and kat Williams

Actually they're not that funny ndvermind.

Ndvermind they are
How are you going to explain this:
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Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20