My top 10 piano practice tips… Learning to play any instrument involves three basic components: an experienced and talented teacher, engaging and challenging music, and an interested and honest working student. Of the above terms, “honest working” may require a little more explanation.
Traditionally, we have said “the road to successful piano playing comes from practice, practice, practice” – meaning hard work! I’d like to change that slightly. I believe honest work is far more valuable and accurate having the added component of quality in its meaning.
Not everyone enjoys practicing. With this in mind, here are some things I have learned over the years that make learning piano a little easier!
Piano Practice Tips
- If you find practicing difficult, speak with your teacher. You may be able to discover a solution together.
- With the help of your teacher, set goals. These can be short term as well as long term i.e. I want to learn how to play The Entertainer or I will perform at the year end recital.
- Affirm your goal commitments by writing it down and posting it in a prominent place i.e. near the piano or on the fridge.
- Set a simple reward for completing each step toward your goal i.e. take yourself out for a treat.
- Place your instrument in an open and engaging space. It’s not fun practicing in a cold and dark room.
- Keep your piano/keyboard set up at all times and have your music in an easy to find place to enjoy the spontaneity of sitting down to play. There is nothing like the obstacles of having to setup the keyboard and finding misplaced music to drain you of your impulse to make music.
- There is only one today and many many tomorrows. Even if you play for a short time today, you have already been successful versus saying you will play for a longer time tomorrow.
- Commit to practicing at the same time each day when scheduling your life. It takes a little time and effort to incorporate new endeavours into our lives. With regularity you will then feel “odd” when you miss a practice session.
- If your time is short, spend your time wisely. Focus on parts of a song that need extra work. Remember to work smart not hard.
- To ensure that you have a comfortable piano practice session, plan to take short breaks, sit on a padded bench or armless chair, and use a bright reading light. Our minds can only learn when our bodies are comfortable.