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How Piano Students Can Get A+ Results By Using The 3 D's

Dec 17, 2007
Have you ever wondered why some piano students really sound great?
Have you thought "she has talent", I wish I could play like that?

Although talent does play a part in musical performance,
it's the 3 D's that make the real difference!

Here are some examples of people with talent who applied the 3 D's to achieve excellence:

* Duke Ellington- spent his life performing 6 nights a week while spending part of every day composing and arranging for his band.

* George Shearing- spent one week at home practicing and working on arrangements for every week of performing in jazz clubs around the world

* James Levine- at age 13 started traveling from Cincinnati, Ohio to Vermont, Colorado and New York (Julliard) to study piano with top level teachers. You can guess that they expected him to practice, practice, practice.

* Billy Joel- from a young age liked classical music and reluctantly took piano lessons because his mother insisted. He was teased by the neighborhood bullies and yet persevered. When he began his musical career at age 18, he also had to support his mother and siblings.

Can you guess what the 3 D's are?
Decision - Discipline - Determination

It's practicing these three that will guarantee your piano playing success now and in the future. Let me explain...

Although you can learn how to play many pieces pretty well, eventually you'll want more. The longer you follow this pattern of just practicing and playing songs, the more likely it is that you will become frustrated, bored, lose motivation or worse yet, simply quit.

But there's a better way...

Here's how you can use the 3 D's to get A+ results from your piano playing.

? Decision: Make up your mind to change your approach to practicing the piano.

o Decide to select one song or classical piece that you really want to play.
o Decide on the reason why you want to play this piece (this is a big part of your motivation).
o Decide to set a date for when you will accomplish this goal. (Goals without deadlines are dreams and don't get accomplished).

? Discipline: Every successful person needs to practice discipline if he or she wants to achieve any satisfying results. Just look at Tom Brady, Nicole Kidman, Jay Leno and Oprah Winfrey.

o Discipline yourself to select the one piece that you really want to play.

o Discipline yourself to create a plan for accomplishing this goal, for example:

* Identify the sections which will need the most work.

* Identify the support tools that you will need to help you master the piece such as theory, chord knowledge, exercises, etc.

* Identify the ways that you will practice the piece, for instance:

learn 4 measures at a time, practice the left hand alone, start with the final 4 bars, etc.

o Discipline yourself to make practicing this piece a priority every time you sit down at the piano: do this song first in each session and follow your plan for working on the piece.

? Determination: Resolve to value the decision that you made and maintain the discipline to stay with your program until it becomes your new keyboard success habit.

Action Exercises

Here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, make the decision to follow your new approach to selecting and learning a piece of music.
Take the time to reflect and ask yourself why you want to improve the level of your piano playing.

Second, use discipline to follow your plan every day even when you don't feel like it. If you wait to get inspired and motivated to sit down and practice, you'll never get to the piano.

Third, have the determination to stand by your decision, exercise the daily discipline and stay determined to follow your new success habit for as long as it takes. Sometimes the deadlines you set will prove unrealistic. Simply adjust the dates and stay the course.

If you want to get A+ results from all of the time, money and effort you invest in learning how to play the piano always remember to apply the 3 D's: Decision, Discipline and Determination.

You'll be amazed at how quickly your piano playing will sound super!
Before you know it, other people will start saying, "you sure have talent!"

Copyright 2007 by Ed Mascari ed@edmascari.com
About the Author
Ed Mascari has been teaching piano privately to children and adults for nearly three decades. He is a seasoned performer (pianist/ jazz organist) of show tunes, jazz and popular music as well as a published classical composer and church musician. Go to http://www.edmascaripianostudio.com for info.
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