How much practicing should be enough for a beginner?
So, today I had this conversation with my sister(S) where she told me(M) that 1 hour of practice is 'that's its'.
This is how the conversation went:
S: you didn't play your violin today.
M: yes I did.
M: I did. For about an hour.
S: that's it?
M: a lot of professionals and teachers don't recommend that beginners push themselves.
(This statement of mine turned our convo into a fight)
A few days before when i told her I played for half an hour that day she said i won't get better that way. She plays the acoustic guitar.
I want to know why she says that. Is it too little practice?
Most beginners don't practice a lot (<1 hour per day) is because they have little material to work on. Plus, their body is just getting used to playing. If you play something like 4+ hours a day for a beginner, you could get really tired and maybe even hurt yourself.
"Beginner" is too broad.
From previous postings by Violetta, she has only been playing for a few months and is teaching herself due to severe challenges getting lessons.
Ryan, i agree. It helps to definite ones abilities more clearly. Not to derail but could you elaborate on where you situate your categories wrt etudes and répertoires, in terms of technique learnt (or perhaps in terms of violinmasterclass.com levels)? You could then perhaps give what you think is an appropriate practice session for the categories It might be too much for a post so I understand if you don't have the time :)
I think that nobody could say that a student practicing 1 hour a day, everyday, is slacking. It's good.
As much as your 1st neighbour - cohabitant can tolerate!
Violetta, I would say practice as much as you want to, especially as a beginner, there are so much out there to inspire you, why limit yourself the chances of learning at such budding stage? I don't know about you, for me, it's always a golden period of learning when I first start something as I would get obsessed and want to do it again and again.
Ideally, "practice" should be a lifestyle, not a single act.
Hour a day is good enough.
What Eric said.
An hour a day is good, and I find a minimum if one wishes to make progress. More is better, but not all at once. Better to break it into 30-45min sessions.
Open strings, 30 mins per day last for half a year.
Practice as much as you can where you stay relaxed and focused. You have to find the total amount and frequency that works for you, but if you are cutting off your practice for an arbitrary reason, then you won't make as much progress. Of course, it's hard to stay focused for a whole hour. You can always experiment with two 45-minute sessions.
Violetta, there really is no "minimum" amount of time to improve. So, for your sister to say that you "won't improve" with an hour a day is simply incorrect. In fact, you could improve with only 10 minutes a day. The process of improvement isn't binary (on/off). It is dynamic and you can improve with fairly small amounts of practice. However, you will improve at a rate proportional to the amount of practice that happens. So as a general rule, someone who practices an hour a day will improve at double the rate of someone who practices 30 minutes per day.
During my violin life as well as my academic life I've tended to use "frustration point" as the place to stop practice/study. I've learned that going way beyond the frustration point yields little to no progress.
Tutti, I find your plan unbalanced, like doing push-ups before learning to walk. A beginner deserves well chosen musical goals right from the beginning, and well chosen "technique" enables them to achieve those goals.
Adrian Heath, it is not important whether you will send your children or friends to the plan I described, what I have described is based on professional training schedule in conservatories in our country. For every learner, a solid technique is foundation and necessary requirement for long-term progress, I think Auer would also agree with me.
Tutti, the OP asked about beginners. To the best of my knowledge, Auer never taught beginners, either as children or adults; his method confirms this. The first volume (open strings only) I use as supplementary or remedial work, but not as a beginner's "method".
I'd even say drilling on open strings for long periods each day is a total waste of time for a beginner. You need enough overall familiarity with the instrument to know what you're trying to accomplish with that open string practice.
I inherited two students who had done a year in this way. One was left-handed, and her left hand had no problem "leading" such a well-trained right hand; the other was right-handed, and the "awakening" of the left hand to its newly dominant role was very frustrating.
It's less about time and more about the intelligence of your approach and the depth of your concentration.
I've been reading this with rapt attention. Here's my .000002 worth.
For the first year beginner, 1/2 hour per day, every day, is about right. More than that might risk locking-in some bad mechanical habits. At any level I think that one hour of technical work is enough to maintain and improve skills: warm-up, exercises, scales and arpeggios, one bowing etude, one left-hand etude. One of my teachers had this method with beginners; three short lessons per week (!), and the violin stayed with the teacher, no practicing at all, until they were ready to practice on their own.
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