Feel like you need to switch up your practice routine? Stuck doing the same thing and doesn't seem to be working? Our teachers incorporate these tips into their practice routines and suggest students to do the same at home.
Everyone is different, so set up a practice atmosphere that works for you! This could mean you prefer peace and quite away from others or request the company of the entire family. Try be consistent with whichever space you choose as this will help keep you in your practice mindset. Have everything you need with you- like water, pencils, and erasers.
2. Warm up
Much like going to the gym and working out, it's essential to warm-up up for piano practice. Try to mix up your warm-up routine every day as well- this keeps the mind alway active. Try to avoid mindlessly playing through scales as much as possible. If you catch yourself wandering, change the routine, like changing the order of scale work. A warm-up is for the fingers but also for the mind, take the time do it properly.
3. Have a goal
Practicing does not mean only playing through your music. Have a goal for each practice session before you start practicing and try to accomplish that goal by the end. Doing so will help you see progress quicker and is extremely effective. Keep a daily diary of these goals and write what you were able to get done and what the new goal is for tomorrow. These goals should be small focused objectives, this will give a great sense of accomplishment when each goal is complete.
4. Be realistic
Slow and steady wins the race. Learning to play the piano is not something you can cram in a few hours, it will take time and daily effort. We understand you're busy, pianists are busy too. So, to make the most out of your practice time, practice little bits and pieces. Start with the hardest part of the music first. This could mean a measure or two. Or half a measure. Loop it until you're more comfortable with that section. It’s about quality, not quantity. It's also about accuracy over speed, especially when you're first learning a new piece.
5. Identify and overcome the problems
Locating the tricky spots will save you a huge deal of time in future practice sessions. Once you find these spots, create a plan for how you will fix them. Approach one problem at a time and differently. For instance, if it's rhythm you're struggling with, tap the rhythm out on the piano lid or play the same note in place of the written notes using a metronome. Always play these spots slowly until mastered, then gradually increase the tempo.
Stay tuned for 5 Practice Tips for Pianist, Part 2 coming out Monday, May 14th!
In the meantime, happy practicing! Incorporate these tips the best you can at home and talk about it with your teacher at your next lesson!