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How do I practice piano masterfully? (Read 316 times)

Offline lucikewl

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How do I practice piano masterfully?
« on: June 02, 2020, 07:59:15 PM »
I'm majoring in piano at college, and I'm actually doing pretty well, but I'm always being bogged down by the stress of not practicing well enough. I know that I could practice so much more efficiently, but sometimes I just lack the motivation, or I just don't know what to practice. Then after sitting in the practice room for 3 hours I feel like I've gotten nothing accomplished and it just leaves me feeling kind of depressed, because I hear all the other pianists practicing and sounding like theyre getting stuff done. I've read all sorts of techniques and talked to some of my other musician friends on how they practice, but their advice just doesn't seem to help me that much. I don't want to ask my teacher because I would just get embarassed if I ask him how to practice. So, how do you guys practice effectively?

Offline samwitdangol

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Re: How do I practice piano masterfully?
«Reply #1 on: June 02, 2020, 09:04:45 PM »
This is an obvious one but many people don't do it: Always practice with a specific goal in mind that you want to accomplish by the end of the practice session. If you have a goal, your practicing will actually get you somewhere instead of it being pointless.

It might also help if you chunk your practice into smaller sessions instead of doing a full three hours at once.
Currently working on:

Beethoven Sonata 22 and 27
Chopin Nocturne Op. 15 No. 1
Bach Sinfonia 2
Czerny Op. 740
Scarlatti K. 18

Offline dogperson

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Re: How do I practice piano masterfully?
«Reply #2 on: June 02, 2020, 09:30:45 PM »
I do not allow myself to consistently start at the beginning and play through.  I mark the problem measures with a transparent post-it flag and work 90% of my time on those measures.  As the problem is resolved (not just good once)  the flag comes off. If there are new problems identified, a flag goes on.  Practicing the entire piece from beginning to end is infrequent until the problem sections are resolved.

I can get a lot done by not playing ‘what feels good because I can play it well’. 
And it is so emotionally satisfying to remove a flag.

And only practice as long as you are focused, and getting something accomplished.  Leave, talk a walk, come back later. You’re not going to receive a commendation for hanging out for 3 hrs of non-productive time. I am not a music major but I try to evaluate what my practice goal is for the session, work on it, leave the piano and come back when I am mentally refreshed. Three hours without breaks?  Nah

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: How do I practice piano masterfully?
«Reply #3 on: June 03, 2020, 03:10:11 AM »
You should not feel embarrassed to ask your teacher how to practice. I am concerned that you wrote that you don’t know “what” to practice which really is something that should easily be determined though the lessons you have with your teacher. The more specific “how” to go about practicing what you need to do is an important question to have answered and your teacher should be very glad to help you on that one. If you post specific questions with sheet music of specific parts we could then highlight routines to solve it, rattling off a ton of generalised practice methods is just cumbersome and rather scattergun.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."