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Practice time?


Matthew_D_Green
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I'm a college senior and my practice time is extremely limited. I'm taking 16 hours this semester and 19 next so I can graduate.

Between my writing (I'm a professional writing major), girlfriend, friends and studying this damn spanish, I get about 5 hours a week to practice. That will be a lot less next semesters as I have an internship to do.

Most of my practice comes when I'm stressed. It's a great way to relax. Pour a glass a whiskey and play the violin, it makes for a really peaceful evening, especially outside. Let the whiskey loosen you up a little, and play under the trees and starts... nothing else like it.

Ben

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Well, let's see...I started as an adult beginner and have been taking lessons now for 10 years. I have 2 kids, 1 husband, a job, animals, a house to clean...so practicing is a problem. I usually start practicing when I get home from school (I'm a teacher) and I practice until I have to take a child somewhere to various extracurricular activities. Then I make dinner, etc...and practice some more before bed. All together, I probably practice , maybe, 1 hour per night. On weekends I practice constantly all day in small amounts of time in between other stuff like folding laundry, going sledding with the kids, taking my daughter to Nutcracker practice, ...

Summer vacation and holiday breaks are great, though. I practice a lot more then.

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I don't think I would practice that much, but I sure would practice more if I could. I am in high school and between homework, youth orchestra, choir, High school orchestra, private lessons, and quizzing (a program with my church that takes a lot of time),I am lucky to get in an hour for each instrument (piano and violin) a day. The problem is I am not at home very much so I usually practice right after school then leave for one of those activities. Unfortunately that means I do my homework when I get home around 9:00. I guess the real problem is I have to be at school for 7 hours a day . There is so much to do and so litle time!

Katie

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Maybe drop an orchestra? I did a weekly orchestra last year, but they kept raising the rates every year, and it was already a 1.25 hour drive in and back, so I dropped it and now just do an orchestra that has one rehearsal per concert, is free, and really much more enjoyable (plus I moved from rotating member of the first violin section to assistant principal viola ).

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I practice one hour per day at the same time every day. Before I started violin I counted the cost and decided that I would forego watching the Drew Cary show to do my lessons. Since the TV is off, it is no problem to forego two half-hour programs in exchange for the wonderful lifetime gift of being able to play the violin.

TV = off, Violin = on.

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As a music performance student at college, between 2 and 4 hours a day. Typically I have another 2-4 hours of rehearsals. I also try to squeeze in a half hour or more of piano every day. Most music students seem to do more, but I'm strung out enough as it is! Maybe the others are just lying.

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i'm a 2nd year music performance student, and with 31 hours of classes per week i am extraordinarily busy. i aim to do four hours a day every day, varying of course with the quantity of music i have to work on and the amount of time i have. sometimes when your only available practice time comes after five hours of orchestra and chamber music, though, it's a little difficult to kick the poor brain into doing it.

-li

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Thank you for all your responses!

I just finished about 5 hours today, which is pretty good for a day on which I have to teach a lot. Some of my students are able to manage about 15-18 hours per week, which keeps them moving along at a pretty good pace. Others struggle to do even an hour per day.

Tell me if you agree that the most energizing and motivating thing is to hear a live performance by a great player. I ask this because I feel that students who do not find the motivation are often lacking the exposure; the experience of hearing the finished product live and up close, so they can see why we work so hard.

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When I was at school (age 11-18) I practiced 3 hours most days, one before school, some time during school and more in the evening. I would say it wasn't really enough, because often I spent time on Quartet and Orchestra music to do a good job for the next rehearsal. Also, although my technique work was efficient, I couldn't say the same about my pieces. Six hours is too much! but if that time is half on your work and half doing other things then I guess you may not saturate yourself. I did 3 to 5 at Conservatory, and that could have been extended also for max. progress.

What is important with my students is that I find out what they want to do and demand accordingly. If they want to study seriously and make a career then I insist on enough time to keep tham on course. I would say they range from 30 mins 5 days a week to 3 hours plus every day. The majority do an hour or so most days, but they won't get even close to music college!

TD

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When I was in music school I didn't practice enough - maybe 2-3 hours a day, which was not enough for me at that time (for others, it may have been plenty). 20 years later, I often wish I hadn't squandered that time. A few years later, when a great gift of time came my way, I upped my practice to 6-8 hours/day. Did this for about 8 months - the improvement was unbelievable.

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"High school students have it pretty easy"...linuxviolin, high school students DON'T have it easy!!!! a typical day would be: wake up at 6am, school 'til 3pm, or afterschool activity 'til 5pm, HW, some violin related activity (orch, lesson, quartet, whatever), come back, dinner, HW, practice for an hour, and sometimes stay up 'til 3am or even 4am to study or do school work. for me, 4 hrs of sleep on a weekday is pretty good. now, how am i supposed to practice with only 4hrs of sleep? make it 2 hrs?

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I meant the homeschooled variety- wake at six, practice at seven, breakfast at eight, back to practicing at 8:15, then practice until tired, do a bit of studying, practice more, and so on. I generally get about 6 - 7 hours of sleep a night, less on weekends. Once a week is quartet, and I lose all of Monday afternoon and part of evening for practice do to lesson + quartet coaching, but I can get work done in the car (two hours each way).

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On average, it would be 2 to 4 hours. Never much more than 4; I've noticed that I become awfully tired after 4 hours even on weekends when I don't have to leave home.

I go to night school, so school doesn't take up much time. School starts at 11:30 am or 3 pm, so I can play some in the morning and the rest after school.

It's great that some people can practice as much as 6hrs a day, I'd never be able to do that!

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I agree.. senior in high school here... life stinks. i get up at 6, early orch. rehearsals twice a week @ 6:30 am, school from 7:30 to 3 , lessons twice a week (piano and violin) , clubs act. until 5 , hw six hrs every nite, and major college stuff. i do most of my practicing on fri, and sat. 4 hrs each if im lucky to make up for the lost time. its all good...

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If I was the mom of you high school kids and knew you wanted to practice that much, I'd find a way to get you out of public school and into a home-schooling program, if an arts school wasn't possible, for the sake of effciency in getting the academics done, time for what you love to do, time for some relaxation, and so you could get enough sleep! Some of the lifestyles I see described here are *not healthy*. Do try to take care of yourselves, people! I do sincerely believe some of you are trying to do too much.

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