Drowning in homework—send help!

July 16, 2018, 10:13 PM · My teacher took it easy for a bit during exam season...
Now he's dropped heaps Bach, études, exercises and repertoire on me all at once!
I'm not stressing for time here—not like I have any performances coming up. However, I want to progress as efficiently as possible and move on to as much material as possible to get the most out of my lessons (we're not all made of cash, we violinists).
If I dedicated the usual amount of time to each item, it would simply be far too exhausting. Probably something like 6 and a half hours a day, and I just can't do that. So, how do I break this up? Slowly chip at each one for a few minutes each day, or dedicate each day of the week to specific item? What works for you?

Replies (9)

July 16, 2018, 10:29 PM · This suggests there's something wrong with the efficiency of your practice. What's the material and how are you tackling it?
July 16, 2018, 11:17 PM · warm-ups, exercises, scales, arpeggios, one etude per week, can limited to one hour. Solo repertoire: one more hour. I made good progress during middle and high school with one hour per day, six days a week. I considered it to be a break from my other homework; math, science, etc. When I tried 3 hours a day I found it to be counter-productive, the third hour was mostly wasted, by fatigue.
July 17, 2018, 4:15 AM · Have a look at this article.

The key thing is to use practice to identify problems and solve them. If you spend 15 minutes improving one shift so that it becomes precise, you have achieved more than if you spend 90 minutes playing through stuff and leaving the mistakes ignored.


July 17, 2018, 8:08 AM · It’s amazing how many people post questions without any useful context. The most helpful thing would be more background on personal profiles when we click on your name. Such information as age, educational status, career, other interests, and geographic location can help people give better answers. We don’t know whether you’re 9 in Yellowknife or a 30-year-old doctoral candidate in Vienna. That’s why I’ve put my CV in my profile—so everyone has some idea of who I am.
July 17, 2018, 11:33 AM · Lydia, he said that he has been given too much homework, not that there's something wrong with him or his practice...
July 17, 2018, 3:09 PM · I get it Cotton. My teacher gives me a lot to work on between lessons, and somehow I manage to get it all done with a very limited practice schedule. (I wish I had 2-3 hours a day to practice, alas I do not! Adult amateur with a full time job, and an additional part time job, here.)

For the etudes, this what my teacher has me do, if I don't have 2+ hours to practice: practice 4-6 lines at a time, keeping track of which lines you practiced and which ones were filled with trouble spots. Then, in another session, go back and focus on the troubled areas to address the issues and then integrate them into the piece.

I'll spend one day working a little more on the rep, and another day working a little more on the fundamentals. For example: one day I'll spend 40 mins on fundamentals and 20-30 mins on rep, and the next I'll spend 40 mins on rep with 20-30 mins on fundamentals. It depends on where my brain/body is at, and how much time I have.

Set a timer, and go.

Edited: July 17, 2018, 5:13 PM · Tobias, assuming his teacher is competent, his teacher isn't assigning him work that assumes 6.5 hours of practice time a day. The fact that he believes that it takes that much time suggests that he is committing some form of error in practice structure. The fact that he's asking for help suggests that he realizes that his approach is not properly time-optimized.
Edited: July 18, 2018, 3:08 AM · Lydia, I feel you have the habit of assuming instead of respecting what others write.

Assuming that the real problem is on the side of the one who askes for advice doesn't help.
Sometimes it's as simple as that: Someone has a problem with another person and it's really that other person that's causing it, not the one who's asking.

Re the OP: I know many classical teachers who think their contribution to the students training is the single most important thing in his whole life.
This may be true in some cases, but sometimes it only shows a bloated ego.

Let's see what the OP gives us as background information: age, goals, level, etc.

Edited: July 18, 2018, 10:03 PM · I suggest you just prepare what you can through reasonable effort, go to your lesson, and have the conversation depending on his or her appraisal of your progress.


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