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Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student? (Read 907 times)

Offline julytwenty

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For young piano students before college, how do you manage to practice piano while juggling school work, extra-curriculums and sports activities? How many activities are you juggling at the same time while learning piano?

Are you able to play competitive sports or participate in any competitive academic activities (math or physics olympics or writing) and still manage to practice piano for 2-3 hours daily? Do you sacrifice sleep to achieve this?

Have you ever been struggled so much that you had to give up one of the activities?

Thanks

Offline anacrusis

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #1 on: July 05, 2021, 06:36:05 AM »
Sleep is super important and should not be sacrificed! It's during the day that you practise, but it's during sleep that your brain sorts through, connects and files what you have learned into your memory, both in terms of pieces and technique. The same goes for studying. It's during the day that you study, but it's during the night that your brain sorts through, connects and files what you have learned into your memory.

If you sacrifice sleep, both your school work and piano study will suffer immensely because getting a full night's sleep plays an active and huge role in the learning process of both.

If you feel overwhelmed, it's totally sensible to look at the various activities you do and decide which ones are the most important to you, your health and your future and which ones are the least, and maybe give up one of the least important activities, at least temporarily.


Offline caevon

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #2 on: July 09, 2021, 06:36:08 PM »
Hello!

I'm currently a high school junior so I suppose that gives me some credibility for answering this question. I currently am juggling piano, youth orchestra (violin, where I am concertmaster), academics (6 AP classes this year), writing (YoungArts Merit winner), and leadership positions in several clubs. My general schedule coming home from school looks something like 3-4 hours of piano right after coming home, a quick dinner, and homework/other academic things until 12 or 1 in the morning. It's definitely very stressful and the key to it is time management. I don't do Olympiads or anything of the sort though.

I did have to give up some things - swimming on my school's varsity team, private violin lessons, and some others - and it always sucks to have to make that decision, but it has to be done. I definitely am sacrificing sleep and I find myself staying up late to finish homework, but obviously, I'm not perfect. I do tend to procrastinate and spend more time on gaming, etc. than I should be.

I'm assuming you are a high school student yourself, so I'm going to advise you to do things only if YOU want to be doing them. If you have a parent that is pushing you past what you're capable of while staying happy and sane, don't do it. I know having tiger parents is extremely common among serious young pianists. Set your boundaries and do only what you know you can handle. You know yourself best.

As always, physical and mental health need to be prioritized at #1 AT ALL TIMES. Without being physically and mentally healthy it's very difficult to do what you need to do. It's always okay to drop some things if you can't handle them while staying healthy. Find out what's least important to you and decide if it's worth it to make that commitment or not. Get as much sleep as you can (even if it's not a lot) and EXERCISE. Know your own limits; don't push yourself over them.

Good luck :D

Online lelle

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #3 on: July 09, 2021, 10:03:47 PM »

As always, physical and mental health need to be prioritized at #1 AT ALL TIMES. Without being physically and mentally healthy it's very difficult to do what you need to do. It's always okay to drop some things if you can't handle them while staying healthy. Find out what's least important to you and decide if it's worth it to make that commitment or not. Get as much sleep as you can (even if it's not a lot) and EXERCISE. Know your own limits; don't push yourself over them.


Good advice! This is the kind of stuff I wish I'd known - or practised - at your age.

Offline determined2learn

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #4 on: July 09, 2021, 10:15:20 PM »
Hello!

I'm currently a high school junior so I suppose that gives me some credibility for answering this question. I currently am juggling piano, youth orchestra (violin, where I am concertmaster), academics (6 AP classes this year), writing (YoungArts Merit winner), and leadership positions in several clubs. My general schedule coming home from school looks something like 3-4 hours of piano right after coming home, a quick dinner, and homework/other academic things until 12 or 1 in the morning.

I'm worn out reading your post. What would 2 hrs of piano look like so you could get to bed by 11? No way could I have kept this schedule when I was 17 (or any age).


You have your whole life ahead of you. Don't burn out.. You are obviously very intelligent and talented. Have fun!

Online j_tour

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #5 on: July 09, 2021, 11:04:51 PM »
You have your whole life ahead of you. Don't burn out.. You are obviously very intelligent and talented. Have fun!

You said it, man. 

But if the person in question goes on to undergraduate college, that's going to be a breeze.

All that AP credit?  Bam.  Done with entry-level "weed-out" courses. 

But +1 for the advice on not burning out:  I think it can happen to anyone who has a lot on his or her plate, even if they are things one thoroughly enjoys. 

I'm "only" 45 and work a relatively simple day job in logistics, but I couldn't even deal with a week without "scheduling" some downtime for regular socialization, playing pool and chatting about the tennis games or whatever.

Somewhat convinced each person has only so much energy, in any sense, so it can be prudent to be judicious about how one spends it.

Or use one's "health credits" wisely:  spend it on sleep, emotional relationships, physical hygiene, and a certain amount of "free reading" in whatever topic.
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Offline mjames

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #6 on: July 10, 2021, 01:34:03 AM »
Undergraduate studies, a "breeze."

Speak for yourself mate...



Offline caevon

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #7 on: July 10, 2021, 03:50:12 AM »
I'm worn out reading your post. What would 2 hrs of piano look like so you could get to bed by 11? No way could I have kept this schedule when I was 17 (or any age).


You have your whole life ahead of you. Don't burn out.. You are obviously very intelligent and talented. Have fun!

2 hours of piano for me would look like 10-15 minutes of technical exercises to warm up (don't want to get injured) then the rest of the time is just working on whatever repertoire I feel like working on. I don't really have a "set" practice list for each day, I just do whatever I feel like doing basically. I also make sure to rest and have fun a lot on the weekends and enjoy myself since I'm always so busy during the week. Gaming, going out with friends, sleeping in, etc. :)

For me, I don't think intelligence or talent has much to do with it... everything is the product of hard work and practice :P but thank you though!

Offline determined2learn

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #8 on: July 20, 2021, 09:44:53 PM »
I'm glad you are having fun!

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #9 on: July 20, 2021, 10:41:57 PM »
I don't suggest any young student to go to bed past or even near midnight, should be getting a solid 8-10 hours sleep. I just don't get students who cram so many activities into their schedule, is it some sort of competition in some places in the world?

4 hours of piano right after school every day IMHO is fantasy thinking lol. Yeah go ahead and try that for years on end.
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Offline ranjit

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #10 on: July 21, 2021, 06:31:30 AM »
I guess if you find school really easy and can get done with your homework in school, then you can spend around 4 hours each day playing the piano. However, I think it would still be wise to give it a rest once or twice a week, and play for 1-2 hours. You can also practice more during the weekend.

Seconded about getting enough sleep. Sacrifice quality sleep for too long, and your effectiveness will plummet. Speaking from experience ;)

Offline Bob

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #11 on: July 21, 2021, 10:21:54 PM »
You don't.  You try to do all and get those results.  If you want to focus on piano, you the extra stuff.  Some people even get their school managed for time a little better.
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Offline ranjit

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #12 on: July 22, 2021, 04:10:36 AM »
I think it's different as a student in school vs one in college. In school, the main barrier is that you are literally forced to sit in a classroom for some 7 hours a day. If you don't have any extra activities, I think it should be possible to put in 3-4 hours of work a day at the piano. There are a lot of caveats, however. School should come easy to you, so that you can get grades while not putting in too much effort. You would need to plan carefully. You could use weekends to recuperate. If you only have to work for 4 hours, that leaves 10 hours to relax. Managed carefully, I think it could work.

Online lelle

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #13 on: July 22, 2021, 10:56:41 PM »
It should also be mentioned that you can get quite far practising 1-2 hours a day, or certain days, as long as your practise is very efficient and disciplined. No unecessary practising of passages that are easy, no mindless drill, but focused, well considered practise on the most difficult parts as needed. Youll probably need teacher guidance to be efficient with that.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #14 on: July 23, 2021, 12:18:34 AM »
Back in the dark ages when I was a student, I was heavily involved in music plus a lot of other extracurricular activities. One day it just came where I realize that  I needed to choose when I wanted to focus on— so I dropped tons of commitments to focus on the piano as well as give myself a chance to breathe.  Looking back, I have no regrets about my decision.

I need to warn you that adult life can continue to be equally busy— between a career that often consumes more than eight hours, family, chores around the house.  You need to develop good practice habits — not just in your teen years but also an adult—because time is always limited.

What I do, which works for me:
-I do not allow myself to start at the beginning of a score every time I practice.
- I mark the problems, whether it be a phrase, a measure, of even a handful of notes, with a transparent post-it flag (transparent so you can always see the notes).  I work on the ‘flagged’ parts until they are no longer problems and I can remove the flags.

If I make repetitive errors,  such as a wrong base note, I highlight it with an erasable yellow highlighter.

Whatever you do, you need to focus on the areas that need work— rather than habitually playing the areas that you play well (and yes, it does make you feel sooo good to play the easy parts).

On the problem sections, think creatively of how best to practice them— it might be irregular rhythms, playing a few notes, analyzing fingering etc.

Don’t practice longer than you can stay really focused.

Offline julytwenty

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #15 on: July 23, 2021, 01:24:19 AM »
Hi all,

This question was based off observing middle and high schoolers. If they are attending traditional school rather than conservatories pre-college. A lot of these kids juggling among:

1. Demanding academic - weekday and weekend school, and large amount of homework
2. After school program - competitive clubs (debate or robot), varsity sports teams
3. Music - piano or violin. either play for the orchestra, competition or certificate
4. Misc - entertainments, social events, charity or religious activities

It feels impossible for anyone to HAVE IT ALL, yet I still see some a monster students boasting their achievements on all of them... I am really curious.

Online j_tour

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Re: Q: How do you manage time to practice piano as a busy student?
«Reply #16 on: July 23, 2021, 02:16:11 AM »
I need to warn you that adult life can continue to be equally busy— between a career that often consumes more than eight hours, family, chores around the house.  You need to develop good practice habits — not just in your teen years but also an adult—because time is always limited.

Very true. 

I can only recall how much energy I had as a kid, while still sleeping the correct amount, varsity tennis, class president, working a P/T job, and still having a social life, girlfriend, all that.

It does not get any easy or better as one becomes older.  Far, far worse as an adult with adult concerns, unless one is toiling in the mines as a child or in similarly serious circumstances.

No, I have nothing else to add, other than that I am somewhat suspicious of children who seemingly "do everything perfectly." 

Their handlers may claim so, but I suspect there are some unspoken shortcuts taken, in one or several areas.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.