Forum Top Banner Ad

Collapse

Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Optimizing practice time

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Optimizing practice time



    Hello all,</P>


    I wish I'd been left a generous trust fund when I was young so I could concentrate on organ playing all day. Instead I have to work so practice is very limited. Some weeks I get none at all and my church performance shows it. How do you guys make optimal use of limited practice time? Is it best to work on difficult material so that hopefully the easier stuff will fall in place? Is it best to work on techique or repertoire expansion? </P>

  • #2
    Re: Optimizing practice time



    You are unable to practice for weeksat a time? I know work can be demanding, but surely there must be a few hours you can squeeze in on a regular basis? It is sort of like making a commitment to go to the gym - you just have to do it!</P>


    My recommendation: don't worry about practicing at the church, especially if you are finding it inconvenient. Practice on whatever instrument you have at home.</P>


    Pianos are very helpful, in that you can more easily find one to play. Lots of technical issues can be ironed out at the piano.</P>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Optimizing practice time

      I'm sorry, I meant to say that sometimes there will be a week when I can't practice. I get my songlist late on Wednesday for the next Sunday. It's never enough time for difficult or unfamiliar pieces.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Optimizing practice time



        [quote user="Mark Pratt"]I get my songlist late on Wednesday for the next Sunday. It's never enough time for difficult or unfamiliar pieces.[/quote]</P>


        What is it with thesepastors/worship committeesthat make up a service at the last minute?! [:@] In my opinion, it shows lack of preparationon their part, and is disrespectful to the musicians involved. The service suffers as a result.</P>


        Thank goodness I am a good sight-reader. However, I do remember - very fondly - the days when services were planned well in advance, with music titles in place at least two weeks ahead of time.</P>

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Optimizing practice time



          It helps me a good deal to spend time just reading the music at home - without any instrument. A teacher suggested it, and he said it could be almost as effective as time spent at the console. I doubted him at the time, but he was right. Just reading the piece, "listening" to it, and playing through it in my head...</P>


          I tend to think about music all day long - while I'm working, eating, sleeping, whatever - and I tend to fixate on the pieces I like best, and I've found that that has a tremendous impact on my playing. Over the past couple of months, I've been trying to give equal mental attention to the pieces I don't like as much and I've been astounded at how helpful it is. It works especially well for retention of new pieces - which has always been so challenging for me - that whole "three steps forward, two steps back" phenomenon.</P>


          While we're on the subject of practice, I'm curious if anyone else has problems with concentration. I do ok while I'm sightreading or learning notes, and I do ok once I've finished learning a piece, but I struggle so much with everything in between - the endless repetitions of difficult passages and working things up to tempo. I tend to drift off and not pay close attention to the music - my eyes follow the page, but don't really read the notes and I'll stop listening closely, so I fail to anticipate what comes next. I find that the vast majority of my mistakes would have been prevented if I'd been playing closer attention. Anyone have any tips?</P>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Optimizing practice time



            I find it difficult to practice more than an hour at a time without losing focus. Then I need several hours in between to be able to practice another hour. With work et al, this means I am usually able to practice less than an average of an hour per day. At this rate, I will remain a liturgical organist rather than one who plays the literature in any significant sense.</P>


            Also, practicing when I am hungry is a waste of time.</P>


            The spirit is willing . . .</P>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Optimizing practice time

              This is about the only thing that helps me concentrate: [C]

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Optimizing practice time

                While we're on the subject of practice, I'm curious if anyone else has problems with concentration. I do ok while I'm sightreading or learning notes, and I do ok once I've finished learning a piece, but I struggle so much with everything in between
                Don't worry, that's why it is called practise. I know the feeling: in the beginning the elation of learning something new, discovering new musical challenges, then the chore of actually learning it, then the frustration of always discovering new faults and then finally the glory of being able to play it more or less satisfactory. And then more frustration of ironing out little details that annoy the heck out of you...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Optimizing practice time



                  [quote user="soubasse32"]This is about the only thing that helps me concentrate: [C][/quote]</P>


                  Amen, SB32!</P>


                  And then when it is time to stop concentrating: [D]</P>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Optimizing practice time

                    [quote user="MenchenStimme"]


                    [quote user="soubasse32"]This is about the only thing that helps me concentrate: [C][/quote]</P>


                    Amen, SB32!</P>


                    And then when it is time to stop concentrating: [D]</P>


                    [/quote]</P>


                    Amen, MenchenStimme!</P>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Optimizing practice time



                      Mark,</P>


                      I do have a few suggestions, and we are probably much alike in this. Like you, I feel the need for more practice time, but work and home responsibilities seem to overwhelm me many weeks. I also am lax about planning my music well in advance. </P>


                      Though I am the church's music director as well as organist, and could plan themusic well ahead of time, I often find myself selecting the music for Sunday as late as Saturday! Normally the church secretary expects me to submit hymn numbers by Tuesday, but occasionally I tell her they will have to be left out of the bulletin.</P>


                      Anyway, I'd encourage you to play through each piece slowly at first. It's amazing how much detail one can miss, even in a hymn, when playing too fast. So work on getting it right in slow motion. Then spend time spot-practicing the phrases or measures that give you trouble. Play a difficult measure very slowly, working out the fingering and pedaling, and keep playing it over and over, gaining speed, until you feel good about it. Then replay the entire piece or section, concentrating on doing the hard part right this time.</P>


                      If you time is limited, eliminate distractions and focus on the task at hand, even if you only have a few minutes. If I follow my own advice here, I find myself playing much better. But if I flounder about andsquander my practice time, I live to regret it.</P>


                      Keep up the good work.</P>


                      John</P>
                      <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                      John
                      ----------
                      *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Optimizing practice time



                        That is good advice.</P>


                        In addition toslow practice, you might also consider playing your pieces faster than they will go on Sunday. That gives a little bit of 'padding', so you won't get jumbled up if the tempo is not quite right.</P>


                        But before you do that, you have to do the slow practicing...at least until the notes are in your fingers.</P>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Optimizing practice time



                          I no longer play in churches, but at present not working either due to a long-term medical condition. I am fortunate enough to have a 2 manual organ at home, so much of my time is spent practicing both piano and the organ.</p><ul>[*]I generally have short practice sessions (25-45 minutes) and spread them 4 to 6 times during the day.[*]Learning new organ pieces, I generally start with the piano working on note accuracy and fingering[*]I like to concentrate on small sections of a work, perhaps a page at a time, shorter if there are particularly complicated sections[*]Some times I work through a piece backwards, starting with the last bar, then playing the the bar before and last bar, the the bar before that, penultimate bar, last bar, and so on, until I am playing the whole piece from the beginning[*]If there are several different awkward sections, I sometimes scan and print off a copy then cut them up and put them into a box, giving it a shake and do a 'lucky-dip'. If I am not happy with a particular section, it goes back into the box to be drawn again.[*]If I am concentrating on note accuracy in small sections, I set myself a '3 times in a row perfect' rule. If I make a mistake, I have to repeat it three times perfectly before moving on the next section, practicing it slower or even dividing them up into smaller chunks, if need be[*]Once I am happy with note accuracy and fingering, I move onto the organ and work on the pedal accuracy and pedalling[*]Then I work on adding the pedal to the manuals in small sections, slowly then gradually building up to the right speed once I am more confident[*]Finally I work out the registration for the whole piece, writing it on the score and practice everything together again slowly then building up to the right speed making sure my registration changes are smooth.[/list]

                          </p>

                          When I used to play for churches, I found practicing to be a bit of a chore and would often leave things to the last moment! These days, without any external pressures I find practicing to be rather therapeutic.


                          </p>

                          </p>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Optimizing practice time

                            Hey! Thats what I do SB32! It works great. Often when subbing I receive the music for a choir anthem and never know what tempo the choir will sing it at until Sunday morning warm-ups.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Optimizing practice time

                              [quote user="Choirmaster"] I generally have short practice sessions (25-45 minutes) and spread them 4 to 6 times during the day.
                              <UL>
                              <LI>Learning new organ pieces, I generally start with the piano working on note accuracy and fingering</LI>[/list]


                              . . . . . </P>
                              <UL>
                              <LI>Finally I work out the registration for the whole piece, writing it on the score and practice everything together again slowly then building up to the right speed making sure my registration changes are smooth.</LI>[/list]


                              [/quote]</P>


                              What he said! With only one exception (lucky dip), that's what I do!</P>


                              My commute to work is 40 minutes one-way (the other direction from church), so I use the "think system"--as in The Music Man. Believe it or not, I find it works! When I can get to church to practice (38 miles the other way), I use all the suggestions you mentioned for new music, then I take the music during the week and check it over, analyze it (chord changes, progressions, etc.), and learn it in my head. Usually, it only takes a couple of weeks to learn a new piece well enough to play.</P>


                              I really do believe the think system works--not quite as Harold Hill proposed, but in general theory. What do y'all think?</P>


                              Michael</P>
                              Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                              • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                              • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                              • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X