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Piano Lesson: Are You Getting Better All The Time?

May 23, 2008
Do you feel that you progress as a pianist? The feeling that you become better as time goes by gives you incentive to keep on practicing. In order for you to succeed in your endeavors, let us take a look at your practicing habits!

As you practice on your piano there are things that will lead you towards your goal to become a better pianist. Let us first take a look at things that can hinder your progression:

1. You do not have a clear picture of what type of pianist you want to become. This will make it difficult to choose the right exercises that will help you progress. If you do not know your goals you will not be able to prioritize between the many things you could practice.

2. You are not practicing your homework long enough to commit the skills to your long-term memory. You might find it interesting to browse through piano sheet music and play a few notes here and there. This might help your sight reading skills but you will not progress as a pianist and musician.

3. You practice too difficult things! If you practice things above your level of proficiency you might hinder your progression towards a good pianist and performer. It is good to have accomplished pianists as models of what you can become but you are not there yet!

4. Your hand posture is preventing your progress. Bad hand and body posture makes it difficult to play demanding piano pieces with smoothness and in a musical way.

5. You play your exercises at a tempo that is above your technical skills. This is understandable since every pianist wants to hear how things they practice are supposed to sound at the final stages of repetition. However, playing too fast will hinder your progression!

6. You practice but forget that all is about music. Without music in mind and heart you will probably lose interest in playing sooner or later.

7. You do not have any piano pieces to play to your friends. All you have done is practicing exercises and fragments from piano solos. You have never learned to play a melody perfectly from beginning to end.

Let us take a look at how you can eliminate these obstacles and make your piano practicing sessions more effective and maybe even shorter and more joyful:

1. Give yourself time to think a lot about your piano playing. Why you play, what things you like about playing the piano, what type of pianist you want to become and your weaknesses that right now hinder you from becoming what you want to be. Write down some goals and use them as a guide when you decide what to practice.

This will also make it easier to evaluate how well you progress as a pianist. Your goals help to see if you are on the right road. As time goes by your vision of what you want to become will be clearer and your goals will be more and more perfected!

2. When you have choosen exercises and piano pieces to play that will lead you towards your goals I suggest that you practice them long enought to really learn the skills involved. These skills will become building blocks that will help you learn more difficult exercises later on. An absolute condition for this to happen is that you commit your present homework to your long-term memory.

3. Be careful to select exercises and piano pieces that are not too much above your technical skills. Too difficult exercises will be boring as you have to play them in a very slow tempo and they will take a very long time to master and you might as a result actually lose interest in playing piano.

4. Correct hand posture guarantees that you will use your energy in the most effective way and that you will not cause yourself muscle injuries. Correct hand and body posture will make your playing a pleasant experience as you will be able to play with minimal muscle tension.

5. The most effective way to learn new things on the piano is to practice slowly. This will resque you from making a lot of mistakes that can grow into negative habits that will hinder your progression. Practicing slowly will also help you play as relaxed as possible. Practice a piece of music in a relaxed and enjoyable way and this will be the way you perform it!

6. In order to develop as a musician you will benefit from listening to music performed with heart and musical depth. In the long run you will become a much better pianist if you devote some of your time to assimilate musical expressions and manifestations from good musicians.

7. To have a number of well rehearsed piano pieces in your repertoire is very rewarding for yourself and enjoyable to your listeners as you can play them to the best of your ability. Memorizing pieces of music should be a significant part of your practicing schedule. If someone asks you to play you know that you can play piano pieces you are proud of sharing with others!
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson invites you to download your free piano sheet music at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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