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After bringing your new piano piece home, it's easy to try playing it just as fast as you've heard it played on the CD that's provided with your book, or how you heard your teacher play it, but...
Slow it down! Until you can play that measure, line or the entire song with few mistakes at a steady (though slow) tempo, don't try speeding it up.
Take a Break if you find yourself getting frustrated. Get a glass of water, go walk the dog, or get up and walk around the room. Take your mind off of the music for a little bit and get some light exercise. Then try again!
Work on Your Problem Areas. In every song you'll find some parts which are harder than others. Isolate those areas and spend the time you need to learn them well. Make them the easiest parts of the song!
Play the Whole Song. Even while you're still isolating your problem spots and perfecting them, take time to play the entire song.
As a student, there were times when I was positively certain that the musical notes on my newest lesson pages decided to get up and move around the grand staff as I headed home after my piano lesson! When I sat down to practice, I just could not get that music to sound as good as it had at my teacher's house - it didn't even look the same. Do you ever feel that way? Here are some simple, but important steps, to remember as you begin to practice your new piano piece at home for the first time...
Split your piano music into several sections. (No, I'm not suggesting that you tear up your music pages!) Try to find several different sections within the music. Perhaps you can learn it line by line. Or maybe the song easily divides into phrases. You can always ask your teacher for help if you're stuck!
Learn each hand one at a time. For most of us, our hands need to learn to work together at the piano! Once each hand is comfortable playing it's part, then you can slowly put them together.
Sing as you play! If you know the melody of the song you are trying to learn, don't be afraid to sing as you play. Singing will help you know if you're hitting the right notes and if you're using the correct rhythm.
Don't try to play the entire piece at once. We all like to be able to sit down and play our piano piece successfully from beginning to end, but that's not usually possible with a new piano piece. So, don't get frustrated! Take those sections that we mentioned earlier, and learn them one by one - then, put them together one section at a time. It's like a puzzle!
Okay, go and apply those ideas to your newest musical assignment! Join us again tomorrow, when we discuss more tips on learning a piano piece for the first time.
Jessica's Piano Studio
Teacher at Jessica's Piano Studio to many talented students! Here's some helpful tips and interesting information to create a wonderfully educational musical experience!