PracticePrompt Blog

Practice Log for 30/06/2012 at 22:10:12

Posted in Captain's Log by elwynrees on June 30, 2012

Total practice time for 30/06/2012 : 54 minutes
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Practice Log for 29/06/2012 at 21:08:13

Posted in Captain's Log by elwynrees on June 29, 2012

Loads of technique practice again! But realised that I need to increase the focus on the weaker left hand. So to this end I’ve added another ‘left hand only’ Hanon set, so I’m now doing Exs 1-20 left hand alone (and HT). The tempo that I could do these in the left had was initially much, much lower than that for HT. After a couple of days, the tempo is increasing (slowly) but is still 25% lower than HT. When playing it HT it’s as if the LH has not learnt to play it at all, but is copying, or mirroring the RH. Still at least it’s identified and being worked on. So no more HT study practice from now on!

Scales were interesting, I did the two 5 minute focused sessions on the two weakest and these were now much better. But I’ve created a "card deck" in Anki for the first half of the circle of fifths scales. It shows a flash card – "Play the g minor harmonic scale over 3 octaves in sixteenth notes at 72", I attempt it, then score how well it went. If a scale goes poorly or if the notes arenโ€™t fluent, I repeat it until it improves, if well I score it accordingly "good" or "easy" etc. How you anser the flash card question drives when it will be repeated next, for example tomorrow or in 3-days time. This means that scales played poorly will get much more focus in the study slot. It means that there shouldn’t be the need for separate focused study slots for the weakest. Currently my bench mark for a good play through is three repetitions over three octaves without wrong notes, stumbles or slips – oh and knowing the notes fluently. I’m hoping that this will be a more efficient approach than apportioning the study task time equally across all the scales (then focusing on weak ones). – We’ll see how it goes. This is an example of Time Spaced Repetition. Check out the โ€˜1-2-4 memory ruleโ€™ in this blog for a simple example for retaining pieces.

Total practice time for 29/06/2012 : 85 minutes
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Practice Log for 28/06/2012 at 23:04:16

Posted in Captain's Log by elwynrees on June 28, 2012

Total practice time for 28/06/2012 : 89 minutes
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Practice Log for 27/06/2012 at 21:49:59

Posted in Captain's Log by elwynrees on June 27, 2012

Reduced the time on Hanon exercises 1-20 today. The tempo for the three sets (1-10, 11-15 & 16-20) are now similar, so I sorted the tasks into exercise number order (rather than “hardest” first). I also started to taper off time on these and didn’t do any repetitions or focused studies (other than LH only). Created two focussed studies for scales and did these prior to the main set (half the circle of fifths). I’ll do these for a few days. I do find myself ignoring the tempo markings (72) for those I know well and zipping through these. I was very surprised how Dmaj in context of all the scales in the set was awkward. The good news today was that all the practice tasks felt “fluent”.

I came across a software Flashcard application ANKI (google it). It has a complex time spaced algorithm under the hood and is free! I downloaded a set of key signatures. It shows you the key signature and you have to identify it, then grade your answer. Based on the answer, the card will be shown again either today, or at increasing time intervals. With each repetition the scale of these intervals increases, so it could end up being months before you see a card again (ultimately). I felt this works well in support of the studies of scales and arps. I’m wondering whether to put together a set of images for notes on ledger lines (say six ledger lines above and below the bass and treble cleffs?)? I also wonder whether this could also be used for studying/memorizing pieces?

Total practice time for 27/06/2012 : 41 minutes
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Practice Log for 26/06/2012 at 22:54:54

Posted in Captain's Log by elwynrees on June 26, 2012

Total practice time for 26/06/2012 : 74 minutes
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Practice Log for 25/06/2012 at 07:37:18

Posted in Captain's Log by elwynrees on June 26, 2012

Total practice time for 25/06/2012 : 75 minutes
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Practice Log for 24/06/2012 at 21:45:51

Posted in Captain's Log by elwynrees on June 24, 2012

Hanon, scales & arps… but also got back to some sight-reading – it was terrible! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Total practice time for 24/06/2012 : 102 minutes
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Practice Log for 23/06/2012 at 20:07:03

Posted in Captain's Log by elwynrees on June 23, 2012

Total practice time for 23/06/2012 : 85 minutes
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Practice Log for 22/06/2012 at 21:06:07

Posted in Captain's Log by elwynrees on June 22, 2012

Total practice time for 22/06/2012 : 81 minutes
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Practice Log for 21/06/2012 at 21:46:42

Posted in Captain's Log by elwynrees on June 21, 2012

Total practice time for 21/06/2012 : 36 minutes
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