How much did you practise as a kid?
Practise makes perfect and permanent in a positive and negative way.
But how much practise is the usual amount for a kid?
So lets say, those of you who started early, how much daily practise did you practise as a kid and what age were you when you were a Suzuki 4-5 level or comparable level of other teaching styles?
In my country there are two views on practise. One is that young children (under 10) are not required to practise vey much. I would think that 15-30 minutes daily is what most people would call good practise. Often parents also expect the children to want to do their practise without help or any forcing. And if the childdren prefer to play videogames instead of scales, its just accepted.
The other view is of course that violin is a difficult instrument and it needs daily practise and young children need much encouragement to practise as they need in order to do their homework or clean the floor of their room etc. Generally parents with musical backgrounds support this view more.
But how much is how much? We practise daily about 45 minutes with my 6 year old and most of my own friends think it is a very long time. But i just cannot understand how she could advance at all at this level, if we only played for less? The pieces are so long in book 4.
So would be interesting to know how much you practised?
I'm curious where you live, maybe we live in the same country :) I recognize your story completely haha. How normal it is for kids to game for more than an hour a day, but when your child spends the same amount of time on her music they find it strange and worrying…
For most of my childhood (the part I can remember) I practiced 45 minutes per day on each of two instruments, violin and piano. I never got very good on either, but I developed basic functional skills. However we took long vacations in the summer and I didn't bring my violin along then, so I always took a big step back every year. I had good piano teachers but they changed too often as they moved away, etc. I had only one violin teacher my whole childhood who was, in hindsight, not very good.
I'm trying to remember, which seems harder and harder these days! But my kids, who were close to the same level at that age, typically practiced 15 minutes in the morning before school and then 30-45 after school. My nine-year-old, who just plays for fun (Book 7 level), still usually only does a total of 45 minutes, but my more motivated kiddo was up to probably 75 minutes by age 9.
Impossible to remember and all too easy to flatter oneself.
Hmmm... I'm with Paul - it was a long time ago, but I remember practicing an hour a day without fail because my (in hindsight not very good) teacher would not teach me without this amount of practice a day.
I started Suzuki at age 6 and I'm guessing that we were lucky if we got a regular 10 to 15 minutes in.
Lydia - well, then I guess I can stop being so worried about obtaining any eventual rep if with such inattentive practice you had achieved that much as a kid. I know I worked hard as a kid, as inefficient as I "practiced", er played, even with getting the Bruch under my belt by the time I quit the first time 'round. Now, I'm muddling about in the intermediate zone - even though I feel like I sound solid and my teacher seems pleased and excited to work with me, I fear I'll never play a Paganini Caprice the way it *should* be played (which by the by I won the Urtext through v.com's contest!) nor access the "simpler" works on my list: Prokofiev 5 Melodies, or Szymanowski Mythes. Ah well, maybe one day...
Hardly at all for the 6 years or so I played (6-13)! It wasn't easy to do so at home so I practiced occasionally in the school music room during free periods - but that was it. Lousy student! But practice did not seem so necessary as I never had private lessons....
This is really interesting reading :)
I did not practice enough. For the beginner to intermediate stages, 6th grade to high school (USA system), I did one hour per day, 6 days per week, with the hour lesson on the 7th day. At the 12th grade level I was doing auditions with the Mendelssohn, Bruch, Saint-Saens concertos. At one point I tried to do 2-3 hours a day, but the results were not that much better, so I pulled back to one hour. One summer I was distracted by the guitar. That one hour per day was an escape from the serious pre-college math and science H.S. courses. I, and my teacher, were somewhat naive, and NOT being accepted at the major big city music school came as a shock. I still think that one hour every day is enough for good technical progress, but when you add the repertoire, Leopold Auer's advice to serious players is still valid: "Practice three hours a day, four if you are a little stupid."
At the first group lesson in public school, the teacher told us to practice 1/2 hour each day. That evening, I dutifully tried to practice for 1/2 on holding the violin and drawing the bow on open strings. However, I did not know enough after one 1/2 hour group class to do anything but put the violin and bow in the correct hands, grasping the frog with the right, the bout of the violin with the left and move the bow back and forth on the string. It got boring and pointless quickly that evening, and so began my childhood of not practicing because I didn't know how to do it (and didn't know that I didn't know how to do it).
Pamela, I suspect that my relative lack of practice was "good" in two ways. One was that the a substantial percentage of my time working on, say, an etude, was actually done in a lesson, under the direct supervision of my teacher. So I never really wasted much time in blind trial and error, or getting a technique wrong and then having to unlearn and re-learn it.
Our daughter did 15-30 minutes from 5-7, 30-45 7-8
My daughter used to be driven and dedicated when she was younger. She started practicing 45 min when she was 3. We had to tell her to stop practicing after 45 min and she used to argue with us that she should be allowed to practice as much as she wants. By the time she was 6, I think she was putting in 2 hours on violin and an hour on piano but it seemed like more she practiced and advanced, worse she sounded, if that makes any sense.
My son, who turned 6 recently, riches that point, when he needs to make an afford to get the results. It is hard to start him to practice, but once he started he does it on his own with very high level of concentrations.
From 10-12 I practiced most days for roughly one hour. I don't really remember how much/often I practiced from 7-10 other than that I DID. No private lessons, it was all through school.
I was quite consistent as a younger child (up to an hour a day), but then in middle/high school there were long periods where I'd barely touch the violin apart from lessons and rehearsals. I don't remember ever doing more than two hours a day until about the age of 17 or 18.
Lydia - I remember my lessons being used for that purpose too, so maybe that's why I don't remember learning how to practice on my own (I really need to figure things out for myself to retain how to do something - if you tell me how to do it, and I don't know all the bits leading up to it, forget it. I'm lost.)
Gemma K, I was just wondering, are you a professional violinist, or studying to become one?
My mother “forced” to practice a hour a day before I was ten. After ten, I practiced about two hours a day, motivated mostly by wanting to move to the front of the orchestra. I gave up the violin at 17.
I practiced 7 hours a day. However, is i was busy, It would be 3 hours a day.
I am curious about why parents making children to practice that long? I understand dedication and descipline are good qualities. But I doubt the productivity of practising, especially if it is not self motivated and the child does not understand what to focus. What is our initiation about music education? I guess it is for fun and as a part of broad education, in most cases.
A child who isn't practicing at least 30 minutes a day is probably wasting their time learning the violin. It's hard to really become skilled on less practice time, and at that point you might as well invest the time in something else.
I am now *very grateful* that my mother “forced” me to practice a hour a day when I was a kid. I wish she had encouraged me to practice more.
Sorry Jean I forgot to say. I am studying at a conservatory hoping to be a professional. Still definitely have a few years ahead of me before that can happen.
Jennifer, Lydia is so right. There is no point in palying the violin, if one does not practise at least 30 minutes, preferably more daily, it is just a waste of everyones time and money when one does not practise. With piano one can get away with minimal practise but not with violin.
Thinking back to my book 4 days (I was 10 at that time), I probably practiced about an hour a day everyday (except for lesson days). I think what's considered the 'normal' amount of practice really depends on a) how interested the kid is in getting better at the violin and b) how well they use their time.
When I started in 4th grade, 15-20 minutes, as I progressed it increased to up to ~2 hours a day when in high school, in addition to my 30 min weekly violin private lesson.
Succinct as always Rocky: not enough! Ain't that the truth...
As a kid and i guess i still sort of am, I used to practise about 30 minutes until i was about 10. Then i started practising about 1 hour up until i was 12. Now I practise 2-3 hours per day
I don't really remember practicing.
Maria wrote, "With piano one can get away with minimal practise but not with violin."
Thank you for raising and discussing this topic. I have been practicing with my son since he started violin 6 months ago. He loves and enjoys the violin. He's also very active and energetic, so the practice can't just be straight with only playing violin like other kids. We have breaks, games in between, which all makes the whole practice to 45-60 min. He has made a good progress and practice somehow becomes his daily routine now. At the certain time of the day, he would pick up the violin and play by himself (of course, that won't last very long). However, whenever I tell someone how much he practices, they stare at me as if I push him too much. Such reactions make me really confused and doubted.
With my son we do about half an hour piano and half an hour violin. He likes to make games out of everything so it's not necessarily a full focused half hour, but that's fine. He needs to learn to love it as well as learning the discipline. Some teachers don't seem to understand that.
Paul, yes of course you are right; to really get advanced with piano one has to practise.
In general, you want to practice regularly. But it is not true that it's "quite difficult maybe impossible" to get to Suzuki 4/5 with minimal practice. You can get there, but sometimes it will take longer.
Frieda, it depends what one calls minimal practise.
What do you consider "minimal" practice? I thought those examples are in the range of what is considered probably a "waste" of time according to posts above.
My answer to the OP is like Rocky's, "not enough"! :-)
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