Posts tagged ‘piano practice’

Have you ever thought about how it feels to flawlessly run up and down a piano keyboard, playing beautiful music? Would you like to play a Beethoven piece of music on a concert grand piano accompanied by an orchestra? Are you that person that says I want to learn, but never gets round to it? Believe me, you are not the only one.

Everybody has a reason for not making that crucial decision and making that first commitment to start learning to play the piano. Even though you would like to be a great pianist or keyboard player, you can’t help thinking whether you will have the time and patience to learn how to play. There’s no way around these doubts, you have to make the decision and see what happens. Regular piano practice is the secret to playing the piano well.

Prior to buying a piano and piano lessons you should to organise your time and money requirements. It’s best to sort out your funds for a piano and lessons and teachers fees. Why not go to a piano teacher and try before you buy. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good piano. A piano of great worth will guarantee a superior sounding piano and you will get more satisfaction playing on it whether you buy an acoustic upright piano, a grand piano or even an electric piano.

A further important matter is to find a piano teacher who will guide you through those first crucial steps to playing the piano. If you know what you want to aim for then you can find the right teacher for you, for instance do you want to take exams, do you want to learn classical music or pop music, think about this before choosing your piano teacher.

Piano lessons and practice take up time and you have to adapt and make learning to play the piano part of your lifestyle. Learning to play the piano can be both frustrating and rewarding. The better you get at playing the piano, the more you will want to practice, it very addictive.

Playing the piano is all about pattern recognition, having a good memory and coordination, all these will improve as part of the piano learning process. After lots of piano practice you want to demonstrate your new talent, use a special occasion or perhaps a birthday party, you might want to play happy birthday, or Christmas, you can play a simple Christmas carol that everybody knows, it’s nice to show people what you can do, especially when you have worked hard at it.

As long as you stay determined to learn to play the piano, any little problems you have along the way will disappear very quickly. I you cant find a piano teacher right away, you can still learn to play the piano if you have an internet connection, and there are lots websites that can supply piano courses to help you learn to play the piano. Online piano lessons can also be used as a supplement to your ongoing piano lessons with a teacher, if you feel you would like to move your progress on a bit faster, have a go.

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If you’re merely playing a song from beginning to end, over and over, you may not be using your piano practice time as efficiently as you might.

There are several unwritten rules that professional classical pianists use to maximize practice time, and you might do well to find out about them, regardless of the style of music you play.

You can adjust these practicing techniques to suit your personal style. If you use these ideas you’ll soon find that your playing becomes polished more quickly.

These ideas apply to learning and practicing any style of music, not just classical piano. I use them with children of all ages and abilities, with great success.

The first rule is to practice only the hard parts you don’t know, at first. A general rule of thumb is that the hard parts should sound as good as the easy parts, and until they do, don’t waste your time enjoying the easy parts.

Invest your time in solving the difficult problems first. Pay these dues and many an “impossible” piece will be yours, and fun to play. Have a strategy for learning the piece.

The second rule is to play the difficult parts slowly and with hands separate for as long as it takes for each passage to be perfectly memorized and fluid, even if it is very slow. If you’re looking at a page of sheet music during a hard spot, you defeat the whole purpose of learning the passage.

The purpose of piano practice is to CALMLY observe your hands and pay attention to where your fingers go, and see where the patterns of keys are.

Memorize first. Enjoy later.

The third rule is to divide the piece into sections and attempt to achieve a basic continuity from one large passage to another. In other words, all transitions between musical ideas must be rehearsed and thought out, so that they appear effortless and logical, instead of bumpy and at the mercy of various difficulties.

Even small piano pieces benefit from this approach.

Larger pieces, such as Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy or Liszt’s massive B minor Sonata, are all but impossible to master without a similar approach, unless you’re Liszt himself.

And there are pianists who have achieved that Lisztian, astronomical level of sight-reading, believe me. But I’m not one, and you’re not likely to be one, either, with all due respect.

For us mortal pianists, the Rules of Piano Practice must be followed if you want to learn difficult material quickly.

by John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press

John Aschenbrenner is a leading children’s music educator and book publisher, and the author of numerous fun piano method books in the series PIANO BY NUMBER for kids. You can see the PIANO BY NUMBER series of books at

When I was a child, there was not as much competition for my time as there is for kids now. I realize that, but I believe that practicing the piano should be a habit. A habit like brushing your teeth everyday, exercising, doing homework.

In the beginning having a child practice Monday-Friday at least 15 minutes a day not only shows consistent advancement, but also decreases anxiety over practicing.

For example, ever parent expects their child to do their homework every night and every child accepts that and it is worked in as part of their daily routine. When piano lessons are started your child should add piano practicing as part of their daily routine.

If you plan exactly when and what time the piano practice will take place, then anxiety and fighting over practicing is eliminated. In return, the child knows what is expected of them and their reward is the confidence and fluidity of playing that comes from practicing.

Here are a some tips:

1. Sit with your child in the beginning and watch them practice. Then be in the room and listen to your child practice. It is very important to children that parents praise and listen to them when they practice.

2. Help make practicing a habit by doing every day and if you can at the same time every day. For some the morning is better, for others the afternoon, and others right after dinner. By doing this at the beginning, you will save having to remind your child to practice when they are older. I personally, tell my child to practice before any t.v. or video games.

3. It takes about 3 years of practicing before a child begin to appreciate how s/he can play the piano and at this point will not want to stop. The first year is fun. The second is more challenging, and the one that requires constant practicing and encouragement. In the third year, your child becomes confident in their ability and your child will be considered a “musician.”

4. Your child may want to quit from time to time. This is normal. Music lessons can go through difficult stages at times. It is at these times, discontinuing lessons may seem to be the obvious solution. Children, who are allowed to quit, rarely return to lessons. I have never heard an adult say, “I’m glad my parents let me quit.”

Children complain about homework but parents turn a deaf ear, sometimes with the piano, the same thing has to be done to get a child through the second year.

Parents wouldn’t think of letting their child show up for school without their schoolwork done, and that same attitude should be carried over to music lessons.


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When you first start to learn a piano, keyboard or organ, you have to be patient, because this is the only time in your playing life that you cant actually play anything, you can only practice. Like your playing ability, your practice should evolve. Therefore, for a beginner I recommend a minimum of half an hour practice a day. Using simple five-finger exercises for both hands and learning to read sheet music, you should be able to play, with both hands, one or two simple pieces of music within a month or less.

When you initially start to learn, your interest in playing the piano or organ is very heightened, so it is very likely you will practice a great deal more than half an hour a day and your progress will be a great deal faster. As the weeks and months go by the novelty will wear off and you may start to miss the odd days practice. This is the time you need to set a schedule for yourself, or maybe it

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