Practice Routines (Adult Suzuki?)
I'm just wondering what everyone's practice routine is like. I'm trying to develop a good structured and timed routine for practice and I'm having difficulty coming up with a good plan.
I usually start off with 5 minutes of Open String Exercises and then a couple Fingering Exercises, then usually 15-20 minutes of scales, and then I try to do some etudes with much difficulty and then I start working on few pieces. I've tried to do 4 hour sessions (taking plenty of breaks in between sections) but I max out at about 2 hours before I start to get tired and sore.
I'm sure my teacher can help me with this when I see her tomorrow, but I thought I would ask here and get an idea of how people practice.
I'm now considering trying out Suzuki repertoire.
I have a teacher who is familiar with Suzuki, but lets me work on whatever I want, but Suzuki is a proven system and I think I can benefit from it, even if I have to supplement it with other things.
Anyway, the main thing I'm asking here is how would you manage your practice time if you were me and were going to start Suzuki Book 1?
hi Russell people may answer but there are really already a lot of past threads on this question on this site, use the search box on the site to explore.
I used to practice scales, etudes, and pieces blindly because that was the "routine". My teacher never taught me the most efficient way of practicing.
I spend 40 minutes noodling around developing good tone and intonation, then I make a cup of tea.
A full hour of scales and arpeggios. I come up with my own patterns so that I'm always learning something from my scales and not just mindlessly repeating them.
About half my time on scales and studies and the other half on pieces, usually some kind of slow piece and something faster. I really can't manage more than an hour these days with my other commitments.
1. Open strings. All bow stuff for 10 minutes. I usually do long tones, one-minute bows, staccato, legato, spiccato, ricochet, sautille, etc.
First, a 20-minute or so warm-up routine: Bow-arm exercises -- 2-3 minutes. Then basic Schradieck-type finger gymnastics on each string -- without the bow -- E-A-D-G, 3rd position, then 1st to open up the hand still more -- equal time to each finger. Same for vibrato exercises.
And every 30 or 40 seconds I stop for an internet break.
Andrew - Yeah, that's me doing homework.
I wish I had the time to practice 2-3 hours regularly without driving my husband insane...
As an adult beginner, ( who previously learnt piano) if found this article interesting,
The rut is avoided partly by the vicissitudes of work and life and partly by having different scales, studies, and pieces to put into those slots. And by not being militant about the timing.
Haha, no kidding Paul! Sometimes I'll be practicing while dinner is in the over, or between doing dishes and folding laundry, and so on. Last night my practice was a bit inefficient, but I managed to get everything checked off plus a quick play through of what I performed the other week at my recital.
I switch it up. Sometimes I actually warm up, sometimes I jump right into a piece, and sometimes I just start with scales, which I sometimes use as a warm-up (but really shouldn't).
Cotton Mather, yes, I understand what you mean. I don't know, I used to practice a lot for years. The max was I think 18 hours. Then I just couldn't do more than 45-50m a day. But the practice fused out, and now I can take up the violin play a few long bows and it's ok.
You should *not* be attempting 4 or even 2 hours without a break. One hour is the absolute maximum time someone can concentrate (so anything beyond an hour in one go is not good quality), & breaking up your practice is also a good way to prevent injury.
Well yeah....... I see..... 18 hours basically fries out your brains. It's ok. I'm still young. 18 hours came from some superstitious and atavistic fear, that was implanted to me when I was in Kolkata learning music. If you don't practice 18 hours, your guruji will kill you :) haha shorry
Edited original post to include questions about developing a practice routine for Suzuki Method
I have the Suzuki books but haven't really gotten far enough to open them yet.That isn't entirely true. I played about halfway through the first one. I mostly learn when my teacher gives me a new tune or two to learn every week. The tunes are geared toward the techniques I need to learn in the Irish traditional genre. You can't predict where the music is going on many of those tunes. IOW you can't pre think where the composer wants to go.In fact, the composer usually goes the opposite way. I find this is really good for both learning new tunes and for gaining valuable technique.
Adults don't normally learn the Suzuki Method, although there are teachers who may use the Suzuki repertoire for adults (and if they're trained Suzuki teachers, emphasize the Suzuki teaching points in each piece).
Suzuki pieces represent a sequence/collection of skills; each piece has skills that are meant to learned, that build upon each other, etc. If your skills come from a primary diet of scales/exercises/etudes, then the pieces are just pieces. Whatever is the "proof" of Suzuki, it's not the repertoire but the way it's used. You could play Suzuki pieces "casually" (for example, some of my children students like tinkering with popular tunes), but if you want them to be part of your structured learning, that's a discussion with your teacher.
With my adult beginners, I emphasize a structure of "five-minute daily skills."
In addressing some of the points recently made on this, should we define "structure" more specifically? Is there a set structure a teacher should be giving the student? It would seem that structure as pertaining to practice material varies widely among teachers and age groups. The other more important things in the beginning such as bow hold, proper instrument ergonomics catered to the person's build should be out of the way after the first few years. Then comes practice material. I'm glad Suzuki isn't a prerequisite for adults who have played for a little while. I'm concerned that maybe I should be pushed more sometimes in some things. I really don't know because well....I don't know. Scales are important, I don't think we can't substitute more interesting ways to learn the same things. Playing 20 tunes in a certain key should be equal to learning that scale should it not? My teacher seems to approach things like, this is your baby, I'll help guide you to do the things you want to do and add a few things I think you need to do.