Practice tip....

The more songs you play "for fun" the easier it will be to play the piano...everything will literally be at your fingertips!  New music for at home makes for great gift ideas!

Studio Lesson Challenge:  The Challenge Bag includes the following.  Please try them at home: 

  • Correct posture
  • Being able to start the song in spots other than the beginning
  • Tapping and counting the song
  • Holding longer notes for their full value
  • Observing rests
  • Using the metronome
  • Using a wide range of dynamics
  • Using correct pedaling
  • Shape a phrase (or all of them)
  • Analyze a spot on your song
  • Using correct articulations (staccato, legato, accents, tenuto, etc.)

Recurring practice tip:

Polishing a Piece of Music means to take it to a level of clarity that you didn't think was possible. 

     Items needed to polish a piece of music:  a recording to listen to often & a working metronome (if using a phone app, the phone must be available to the student at all times at the piano AND the student must know how to use it on their own)

Follow the following steps to reach total control of a song:

1)  Be able to start your pieces at 2-4 different spots in your song by memory.

2)  Be able to play your piece at half it's performance speed.

3)  Be able to play your piece at any speed between half it's performance speed and it's performance speed.

4)  Be able to play your pieces by starting at ANY place in the music and then look away and keep going within 4 measures!

5)  Really over exaggerate dynamics & articulations (staccatos, legatos, rests & accents).

6)  Perform for as many people and on as many different pianos as possible.

Maximizing every moment of practice:

I. Take a BREAK every 15-20 minutes for 5-10 minutes….MOVE - yup, jumping jacks, toe touches, push ups, burpees…anything

2. Eliminate distractions - leave electronics out of the room you are practicing in.  Eat, if hungry. Etc.

3. Shorter, QUALITY practice is much better than 10,000 hours of mindless “practice”.

4. NEVER practice from beginning to the end of a piece - Ask…how can I practice this differently than the previous day?  Practice as imaginatively as you wish to play.

5. Stay in the PRESENT - it’s the only time that actually exists.  Pay attention to your BREATHING.  This can connect you to your internal feelings for the music.

6. The most productive practice should feel like meditation - it is not lethargic, but fully focused and energized, never rushed nor glossed over.  Time should “melt away” during optimal practice.

7. Practice joyfully or not at all.  Be motivated by creating something of beauty and value.  Don’t be attached to results - focus on the Joy in the Journey.

If you have a tip to share with others, please let me know and I will share it!  What works for one family or student may or may not work for another.  All tips are welcome!