Pianist
 

Practice tips

to make your learning more effective

I have to admit that sometimes I did not follow some of this advice and it really slowed down my progress. That's why I want to share this here so your could check this page from time to time and make sure you use your practice time wisely.

Find the best time

Find the right time for you to practice. Notice when you have more energy, when you are more focused and have a fresh mind. Piano playing is not only about fingers, it is probably 80% of brain work, very intensive multitasking. I once noticed that when I practice at the end of the day when I am already tired, it is very ineffective for me.

Short and often

Practice for a short time but often. It is way more effective to practice 10 minutes a day every day rather than 2 hours once a week. In addition, your brain needs time to process information, and a lot of this processing is done overnight while you sleep. That's why no matter you learn (piano, math, or languages) -- split your material into smaller tasks and do a little bit every day. You will be surprised how much you can accomplish.

One hand at a time

We all have this temptation to practice both hands right away. It is usually not a good idea. Better split a song/piece into short pieces (2-4 bars) and practice each piece with each hand separately many times until it sounds smooth.

Use the right fingering

Fingering is finger numbers that you see in music sheets next to the notes. Pay attention to these numbers and use the right fingers. It is boring but important! Stop and play a part veeeery slowly. There is nothing worse that memorizing wrong fingering and having relearn it over again.

Learn in small chunks

When you starting learning a piece, try not to play the whole thing from the beginning to end. Stop every 2-4 bars and repeat it until it sounds smooth. Then go to the next 2-4 bars. Playing the whole piece clumsily will not improve anything much.

Soft arms and hands

Very important: your muscles should be always soft and relaxed. No tension. Try to play right after a shower or bath when you are relaxed -- you will feel the difference. Playing a musical instrument is a lot like a yoga exercise in this sense. This is one of the reasons why it is easier to learn piano at a very young age, while arms and hands are naturally soft and flexible.

Stay motivated

Play more things that you really like. Take an active part in choosing your repertoire, don't think that your teacher will magically find a perfect piece for you. Tell your teacher about your favorite music and movies, give an honest feedback about pieces that your teacher suggests. My goal is not to make you are concert classical pianist, but to bring you joy with music so you could share it with your friends and family.

Listen to other pianists and orchestra music

Youtube is a great place to quickly find some interesting performances. You listening experience is crucial in your piano studies. Find other piano performances or a song/piece you study and also find versions for other instruments, especially an orchestra. This listening experience will help you create your own vision, and will develop this cool skill to hear piano in orchestral sounds. It will move you to the next level of piano performance.

Share your music and show off

Start your own youtube channel or share your videos on other social media. It does not have to be perfect, it can be even a small piece of a song that you learned, but you will be surprised how fun it is to get feedback from your internet audience. Even if it is only your friends and family! It is very important to see and appreciate the result of your hard work.