Experienced pianists will agree – the quality of your piano practice determines the quality of your performance.
Each practice session counts, and every time you sit down at a piano, you’re developing habits and skills that will last.
It’s very easy to sit down at the piano and just play without much strategic thought about a schedule. From time to time there is nothing wrong with this!
Yet, you will thank yourself if you incorporate a structured practice regimen. It will ensure that you are working on parts of your playing that need attention.
Step 1: Rid yourself from distractions
The mind is the key tool used to play the piano! A few minutes of concentrated practice is much more valuable than a 30 minute practice full of distractions. Put your phone on silent and out of sight, and make sure you won’t be getting interrupted.
Step 2: Warm Up
Just as athletes need to warm up before a game, pianists need to warm up before practicing too! Start with some chords and arpeggios to get your mind and fingers ready.
Step 3: Practice slowly, and acknowledge mistakes
It’s essential to work carefully and slowly while learning to play a new piece. Don’t sacrifice quality for speed, and if you make a mistake be sure to review it rather than glossing over it. The last thing you want is forthose mistakes to become muscle memory – which take much longer to fix!
Step 4: Practice short passages
This is an important trick when you are learning a new piece! Studies have shown that the brain takes in musical information better when it isn’t overwhelmed by quantity. Practicing one passage extremely carefully and thoroughly be more beneficial once the pieces start to come together.
Step 5: Keep a journal
Be sure to write down what pieces your practice, and for how long. If you are working with a piano teacher, they will appreciate being able to see exactly what you worked on. Even if you don’t see a piano teacher, a journal will help you remember what you have practiced, and how to plan out the rest of your practice schedule. You can even keep notes about what you struggled with that session, or if you overcame any obstacles!
Step 6: Go back
Save some time at the end of your practice session to go back and revisit old pieces. Not only will this fine-tune your skills, but also it will ensure that you have a strong repertoire of pieces. Being able to work on pieces you love will make you look forward to practicing every day!
Step 7: Enjoy Yourself!
Remember that you are playing – So immerse yourself in the music, and have fun!