Finding (making) time for piano - How do you do it?

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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:11 am

Anybody, teacher or student, who is serious about piano will tell you that it takes a lot of time to become both skilled and knowledgeable in it. Between practice, lessons, listening and the competition for time with life's other interests and necessities, piano can be hard to fit into one's schedule. Yet, if lessons are to result in ability, one must find the time. How do you make time for piano? What sacrifices do you expect to make for it, if any? Do you have any tips for those struggling with the same problem? How can one organize one's day to make adequate time for lessons and practice?
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby Tranquillo » Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:21 pm

I have a part time job, also a highschool student, attend church 3 times a week and also part take in volunteer work.

... With piano I find setting aside time everyday - an hour at least for practice ... and the once in a week piano lesson happening at the same time everyday it works.
At school we had workshops that explained time management. By keeping a diary on what to do everyday, putting first primary commitment and working around that time to do homework, housework, entertainment, etc.

At the same time, I found I was spending too much time with my other obligations ... partiacually witht the job I had. I found that piano was being neglected on some day so I cut down on my hours and days to work. I only work for two hours a week now on the weekend.

So thats what I have to say ... set a routine/schedule ... put piano as one of the first commitments on your list and see if you can cut back on less important/unessacary things.
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Postby pianogal » Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:45 pm

My schedule's different each week day. All depends on how much homework I have. I estimate the time I need for homework (ex. I need a total of 3 hours.) the I practice the loud piano in the afternoon while no neighbor's going to be bothered, and leave (3) hours for H.W. at night. I really don't like to practice with the soft (middle) pedal down.

***my main tip, is to sacrifice mirror time, that is don't stand in front of the mirror for too long (that's how I use to, now I really regret all the time I wasted by staring at my reflection)

Just whenever, even on your break time from whatever, you should use the time for piano. Playing piano can be a great way for relaxing! (Use your spare time wisely!!!)

on weekends, boy, I'll practice the whole day if I can.
Don't ever give up piano, because you will like it someday
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Postby 112-1182392787 » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:21 pm

I am a freelancer and my work varies wildly. I may have days with no work at all, or a deadline at 4:00 a.m. internationally, or work 48 hours straight. It is also unpredictable. I am studying violin formally, and piano informally. When I had the piano recitals I bought ear phones, and was practising after midnight, then practised violin in the morning, went through piano in afternoon, performed in evening. Violin ideally is 3 hours, piano 1 hour, though I have been caught on piano for lots of hours without noticing. I don't set hours - I set goals to achieve in practising. In my freelance work I may have 6 hours of work, but I can choose when to do those 6 hours as long as the deadline is kept.

How to get the hours: organization, efficiency, simplifying - like a big stew in a pot that lasts for days. Prioritizing.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:57 am

These are all good tips. I would suggest that, at least in one respect, finding time for piano is like finding time for anything else: If you don't see it as part of your day and allocate time for it everyday, you probably won't get it done. It doesn't have to be the same time every day, but the time must be allocated or it will used for something else.

Since I also work independently, I can sympathize with those who have constantly varying schedules. I often do things that take large blocks of time (PEP, working out, piano) during the lunch hour. I have fewer interruptions and I eat less! :D
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby 112-1182392787 » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:16 am

during the lunch hour.


You get to have a regular lunch hour? :cool:
If you don't see it as part of your day and allocate time for it everyday, you probably won't get it done.
Very wise. Adult students often have a particular problem in that respect, because deep down many believe that they are doing an unimportant activity. That attitude can also be held be family and friends. Take what you are doing seriously, believe it is important and that you deserve the time.
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Postby Stretto » Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:32 pm

One suggestion especially for parents of elementary age children would be to schedule time for piano practice and have it on a written schedule. (just the same as other activities which have scheduled practices). The schedule could be different each week but parents could help their kids find times during the week that are designated as piano practice even if scheduled practice sessions only a day or two in advance. Also, one could schedule 15 min. one part of the day, 15 min. another part of the day, and so forth.

If a person whether adult or parents of kids wait to "fit piano in" whenever there is time, there never will be.

I probably have more time on my hands now then say when I was a student in college but I feel I got much more accomplished in college than I do now. I think the difference is I used to use a simple written schedule for each day (the days of the week running across the top of the page, hours running down the side), and block in times where I had classes, other commitments, and blocked in times for studying.

I'm fortunate enough to be home during some of the day so I usually use piano practice as a "break" or "reward" for accomplishing other responsibilities. For example, if I cleaned the kitchen, then take a break and practice the piano for 15 minutes. Then do something else, tell myself "when I accomplish X, I will reward myself by getting to practice the piano". I find it better for me to practice 10-15 min. here and there. What I do a lot is take a piece of music, go to the piano work out one phrase or part of a phrase, play the whole piece or part I've learned just for fun, then go do something else. Then a little while later come by and work out another phrase in the same piece or another piece. So basically I just keep going to the piano here and there throughout my day working out a phrase or part of a phrase each time.




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Postby Tranquillo » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:26 pm

Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Editor wrote:It doesn't have to be the same time every day, but the time must be allocated or it will used for something else.

Since I also work independently, I can sympathize with those who have constantly varying schedules. I often do things that take large blocks of time (PEP, working out, piano) during the lunch hour. I have fewer interruptions and I eat less! :D

Just thought I'd metion that ... no it doesnt have to be the same time everyday. BUT ... an adolescent psycholgist once said that when homework is routine and the same time everyday then it becomes more of a habit.
I am a student so I suppose I have a steady schedule. ... Even though I do take part in extracirricular activities.

... All I am saying is ... if you can do it the same time everyday it would become very routine and habitual ... Suppose the key here is time management.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:21 am

Let me suggest how one might tell if he is really serious enough to be successful in lessons. Before you start, consciously decide what you are willing to give up (or scale back) doing in order to have time for lessons. If you can't think of anything you're willing to stop doing in order to make time for lessons, chances are that you won't make time for them. This might, at first blush, seem a little draconian, but, with the kind of packed schedules many people have these days, it might actually reflect reality for many, if not most, students. Too many people approach lessons with the idea that they will make time "somehow", but, usually, this doesn't happen because they are already too busy with other activities.
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby keithmusic » Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:32 pm

To find satisfaction in daily practice and improve your playing skills is priceless. In today's society there are so many distractions pulling at students that they have to make value judgements about what is top priority. Even 30 years ago it seemed times were simpler and there were less distractions. Practice can enrich your life greatly in many categories, so consider yourself fortunate and blessed if you are able to practice consistently.

Keith




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