Writing about the programming language APL, Edsger Dijkstra coined the phrase "A silly idea carried to perfection". That's how I now feel about this planning spreadsheet. The fact that it told me to practice more than 24 hours a day does not help either.
I still haven't worked out the relationship between practice time and progress, but it's not as simple as this spreadsheet approach suggests. Obviously, progress depends at least as much on the quality and fruitfulness of attention paid to aspects of the music, as on raw practice time.
I'll count this as a wrong idea dismissed, and make that a reason to be happy about it.
The software got upset by the table, and the rest of the post was lost, so I'll try again.
The idea is that the total time needed to learn a piece is its duration multiplied by its difficulty. A spreadsheet is used to compute the remaining practice time, and to adapt the estimated difficulty to effort spent and progress gained.
"Progress" reflects my gut feeling: is the piece coming along?
A piece's difficulty factor is computed as (time spent practicing)/(the piece's duration * progress). The time still needed to finish learning the piece then becomes (the piece's duration * its difficulty factor * (1 - progress)).
The numbers aren't realistic yet. Learn an Ysaÿe sonata in just a few minutes a day? In my dreams! But that will improve by itself, as long as I log my practice times and learn how far a piece has really progressed.
I'm curious: do you all find this useful, or just a little crazy? (I think it's both)
Suddenly I have a lot of difficult stuff to prepare.That's what one gets from taking lessons and being in an orchestra. I felt overwhelmed, and this is what I came up with. It might be useful to other people as well.
|Composer||Piece||Difficulty factor||Length||Progress (1=finished)||Time needed||Today is||finish by||Practice time per day|
|Mozart||sonata in A, 1st mov||14,29||00:04:30||0,7||00:19:17||09-01-11||17-01-11||00:02:25|
|Schubert||Sonate D 574||20,48||00:06:06||0,8||00:25:00||09-01-11||15-02-11||00:00:41|
More entries: October 2010
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