Archive | December 2016

Establishing a Consistent Piano Practice Routine

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Find a time.

Before college, that time for me was right before lunchtime. When I was in college, I planned in practice slots at a variety of times and durations that would work best with my other college work, and that would change often. At the minute, around 9 pm works best for me. The important thing is to plan and set aside time.

Don’t give up.

If you don’t have a lot of time to play during a particularly busy day, practice for 10 minutes rather than giving up the routine and habit. I remember starting private voice lessons in college one semester (as an extra class) and withdrawing soon after because I didn’t start off well with my practice time and I felt like I wasn’t doing very well. However I was later surprised to see that the voice teacher had given me good marks on the weekly progress report. With music progress isn’t necessarily seen immediately, and I believe sticking it out would have proved to show visible results even if for a few weeks here and there I didn’t get all my practice time in.

Practice both enjoyable and challenging music.

When I play through the same things over and over again or when I have been, for example, only playing Mozart for a week straight and am feeling stale, that is a sign that I need to get new music out. Sometimes I get out a book by another composer and switch my focus on, say, Bach. Another option is getting out my previous recital pieces and reviewing them. In addition to sight reading I also like to choose one piece to make “performance worthy”. Technique is also mentally stimulating and challenging.

As much as natural talent is helpful, in the end practice and consistency is an even more valuable and rare quality.

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