Asking ourselves How do we practice?, is so much more helpful than asking ‘when’ shall I practice! Though both may be relevant! Once we are at the piano though, we should concentrate on HOW! This comes up in conversation a lot, as you can imagine:
- use the Pomodoro technique (time yourself, and give yourself timed-rests eg 25mins practice followed by 15mins doing something else; then back at the piano for 25mins)
- regular daily practice is the way to go
- shorter periods of practice EVERY day are a great idea for the earlier levels!
- practice using left-brain thinking ie get analytical please!
- save right-brain thinking for expressive performance perhaps?
- hands separate: try this as a discipline (even though ‘you just want to play’)
- Left Hand: often requires more support? Give it due focus.
- regular sight reading Regular, short blasts are incredibly useful
- use Scales and Studies etc to give yourself time to consider technique and reflect on musical structure etc.
- learn a piece from the middle out?
- isolate phrases in left and right hand; focus on repetition to assist memory (helps you to practice across bar lines and gain the musical expression more meaningfully)
- Slow Practice Gets you there FAST
- Fast Practice gets you there SLOWLY
- acknowledge tempo as well as Time Signature however slow things down in practice; seek accuracy. Count as you play? Make use of metronome?
- apply the 80:20 rule; 80% of errors are hiding in 20% of your manuscript. When you drill down guess what? 80% of your mistakes are still in 20% of those passages!! Keep going!
- try recording yourself! it helps you advance!
- explore opportunities for duets? and keep seeking willing mini audiences! 🙂
- Set Practice Goals!!
- Warm-ups help to avoid tendinitis etc A scales workout will help you!
- Pursue Repetition; give it some Time to “sink-in”!
- Listen to other pianists play. Who are your top 10 favourite pianists?
- Consider how your breathing is relevant to your playing in general, and in particular to that piece you are working on!!
Please write-in suggesting your ideas: anytime. Thank you.