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Do you ever get frustrated with your practice sessions at home? Do the songs that we worked on together in your lesson seem to grow into a complicated jumble of black circles, lines, and patterns that tangle your fingers and make your eyes grow tired and blurry?
If you think I’ve never been in that same situation, you’re wrong! Believe me, that vivid description didn’t come from my imagination – it comes from my own personal experience!
So, what can we do to guarantee that our practice sessions are effective? How can we take some of the frustration out of the time we spend learning our new piano pieces?
Daily Practice Time
One of the most important steps to profitable practice is a scheduled practice time. Choose a time when you can be relaxed and not worried about other activities. Whatever time of day works best for you, schedule your practice time and treat it like an appointment – never miss it!
By the way, it's best to practice within 24 hours after your lesson. So, if you can, sit down at the piano as soon as you get home from our time together and play through your assignment at least one time!
If you need a daily reminder to practice, place the piano somewhere in your home where you’ll see it several times a day. Parents, young children typically enjoy an audience, so put the piano near your usual workspace – if practice time is right before dinner, put it near the kitchen.
Don’t underestimate the value of incentives. While some may view this as well-placed bribery, it’s very effective. Young children often need no more than a sticker sporting their favorite Disney character as motivation to practice! Older students may enjoy earning points toward a special item or outing.
Planned Practice Time
How do you practice? For new beginners, it’s much easier to practice songs a specified number of time – three to five times each day. Later on, sitting down for a half hour at a time may be more effective. Or you can set a goal – be able to play the first line of your new song at a specified tempo without hesitation before you get up from the piano.
Take some time right now to think through your current practice plan. Could your time use some revamping? What are you going to do this week to ensure that your practice time is as profitable as possible? Let me know by commenting below:
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!