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Mar 27, 2024 - 8:11:32 AM
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1254 posts since 2/12/2003

I went to my two granddaughter's piano federation recital last night. The adjudicator was Phillip Aaberg, a very well known pianist who was and raised in Chester, Montana which is not far from here. I'm guessing most people here have never heard of him, but in the piano world he is very well known. After each student played, he went over their music and gave them tips, etc.. He emphasized to the students to practice in short sessions often...like rather than sit down and practice for an hour, practice for 5 or 10 minutes several times a day.. He said if you walk by your piano, sit down and play even if it's for a couple of minutes before going to school. He also emphasized to work on parts of a song that are giving you trouble rather than playing the whole song to get to the part that you are struggling with.... His theory is that students advance more quickly if they play practice a few minutes several times a day. Great tips for any musician regardless of the instrument!

When I was growing up my father never kept instruments in a case. There was always a guitar, banjo, etc. sitting in a chair, in a corner, etc. His theory was "out of sight, out of mind".. If you see it, you're going to pick it up and play it, but if it's in a case you're not as apt to take it out and play...

Mr. Aaberg also talked about the importance of music over a person's lifetime. He played sports in high school and talked about music being something a person can do their entire life as opposed to a few short years you can play sports. He also talked about the joy and happiness music brings to others as well as the person playing it.

After Mr. Aaberg went as far as he could with his local music teacher he took lessons in Spokane, Washington. Get this, every Sunday he took the train to Spokane, which was a 12 hour train ride, had his lesson on Monday, and took the train back to Montana.. I believe he did this throughout his high school years.

Phillip Aaberg: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Aaberg

Mar 27, 2024 - 10:24:24 AM
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79648 posts since 5/9/2007

Great outlook,Tim.
I grew up in a musical family including my next-door grandparents,aunts,uncles and cousins with a piano in every home and instruments here and there around the house,screaming to be played.

Music after supper two or three times a week or a few tunes after lunch on a stormy,shop day.It helps to not have to take the time to unpack it.
When I'm home my banjo is "resting" in the Lazy Boy chair which encourages me to pick it up quickly to play along with the radio or be ready when an idea or guitar player shows up.

I do worry about leaving my guitar out in the open all the time.It seems much more fragile than the banjo.It spends its days in its case,but on top of the coffee table for easy pick up.

Mar 27, 2024 - 10:29:43 AM

chuckv97

Canada

71985 posts since 10/5/2013

I also have my instruments out and handy for a quick tune or 2 , or if thinking of a particular phrase I’m having trouble with. Good to hear that kids are still taking piano lessons,, I used to listen to Aaberg’s albums now and then.

Edited by - chuckv97 on 03/27/2024 10:39:36

Mar 27, 2024 - 10:31:08 AM

RB3

USA

2002 posts since 4/12/2004

Did Mr. Aaberg provide any evidence to support the idea that frequent, short periods of practice is the most effective improvement strategy?

Mar 27, 2024 - 10:32:15 AM
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1254 posts since 2/12/2003

Your home sounds like the home I grew up in... Back then we only got one channel on tv and it wasn't all that good, so we didn't sit around much watching tv. These days kids are either watching tv, playing video games, etc. Both of my kids play (guitar and piano) and I'm hope my grandkids continue to take an interest.. And I sure hope they take an interest in the banjo!!!

Mar 27, 2024 - 10:43:30 AM
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chuckv97

Canada

71985 posts since 10/5/2013

As for shorter practice sessions , I think they’re agood idea - most people’s concentration levels wane after a period of time. Also I feel that the time away from the instrument allows one to internalize what you’ve just practiced. (I have no hard proof on these beliefs,, just experience)

Mar 27, 2024 - 10:50:52 AM
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79648 posts since 5/9/2007

A guitar teaching friend once told me to never let more than 2 days go by without playing.
I usually play every day.

Mar 27, 2024 - 10:56:22 AM
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79648 posts since 5/9/2007

Show them all you can.
My Dad's mom was very musical.She played piano and pump organ,accordion,guitar and banjo and showed her children how to play and sing.
She was gifted with a low alto harmony.Her four children all played very well.

Mar 27, 2024 - 11:18:33 AM
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1254 posts since 2/12/2003

quote:
Originally posted by RB3

Did Mr. Aaberg provide any evidence to support the idea that frequent, short periods of practice is the most effective improvement strategy?


No, I assume it's from personal experience..  I have found that I progress faster by playing for shorter periods more frequently than if I sit down for an hour and try to figure something out.   I have no idea how the neurons in the brain work, but it seems like new information needs time to "incubate"...  Have you ever worked on a lick and just can't seem to get it and the next day you pick up your banjo and it's "Just there"?   I've found the same with learning lyrics to a new song..  If I give things a rest and come back to the song later, the lyrics seem to be there...  Maybe it's just me, but it seems to work that way.  Someone smarter than me might be able to explain it!!! 

Mar 29, 2024 - 5:56:52 PM
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79648 posts since 5/9/2007

Never let more than two days go by without playing.
I've played just about every day since 1960.
I don't call it practicing...I just play.

Mar 29, 2024 - 8:28:44 PM
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Paul R

Canada

16929 posts since 1/28/2010

Good advice. I have a guitar on a stand all the time - until it's picked up and played.

And a great comment from Steve - it's playing. When someone finishes at the open mic, the m.c. often calls out, "Good job!" I call back, "It's not a job!"

Mar 30, 2024 - 6:03:05 AM

4825 posts since 3/28/2008

If you want a banjo connection for this post, IIRC Aaberg has recorded with Alison Brown.

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