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Piano Lesson: Let Performing Make You A Better Pianist

Jan 7, 2008
Performing your piano music can actually be a great way to develop as a pianist. By uplifting others by your music you will at the same time make your practice sessions more effective! You will also allow yourself to play at your peak level!

Many pianists will experience this scenario:

Somebody comes to you at a party or at some other occasion with a lot of people, knowing that you are a pianist, asking you to play something nice for the people around. At this point you feel uncomfortable because you do not have anything to play or the music you possibly could have played will not show you at your peak level. This does not mean that you are a poor player. It just means that you at the present time do not have anything you feel proud to play for other people.

At this point you will excuse yourself and say that you maybe will play some other time. At the same time you feel bad because you actually could have contributed to the party if you only had focused on performing as you practiced at home.

You maybe have practiced on many various things, using scales, chords, messing around on the piano and playing pieces you have practiced before. But, you forgot to actually focus on the people out there waiting for your music to be heard.

The problem is as follows:

1. Nothing to play when people want to hear you play.

2. You are losing motivation to practice because you never use what you practice among people.

3. Your piano practice sessions are unfocused as you do not know what to practice and how to use what you learn.

One solution is to focus your piano practicing sessions on a repertoire with piano music you yourself like to play and see to it that you always are prepared to play at your peak level. Seeing that other people are actually enjoying your playing will increase your motivation to practice and help you master your musical homework.

Let us see what you can do:

1. Building a repertoire. Decide which ones of the piano pieces you have practiced that deserve to be included in your piano repertoire of piano music that you will take time to keep fresh by regular practice and repetition. I think it is not wrong to be a bit affable in this area. Try to include the piano pieces that many people want to hear and learn to play them the way they should be played, that is, correctly and in a musical way. Do not think it is like playing to the gallery as long as you have decided that the music is worth listening to and that you play the music with feeling and concentration.

2. Compose a program with piano music that you will play if someone asks you to play. This program can consist of three pieces of music or more that you want to focus on. Pieces you know people usually enjoy listening to and that you enjoy playing. You can start this program with a piece of music that do not put too much demand on your finger dexterity as you will not have time to practice warm up exercises if someone asks you to play. This way of creating a program is in line with the slogan to always be prepared.

It is a satisfying feeling to really be prepared to play when someone asks you and also knowing that you can play something that you have practiced well enough to be able to play at the top of your ability. Peoples opinion of you as a pianist will be more positive as they only will hear you play like any serious artist would, the things you know you have mastered.

3. As you practice these pieces of piano music you will undoubtly come across musical passages that are so difficult to play that you need to make a decision. Either you will skip this piece of music entirely for the time being and choose a piece of music that are at your present technical level or else you have to work on your technique in order to play the music correctly.

In this case you have to focus on the exact problem you have with the musical passage and decide which area of your technique that has to be improved in order for you to play the passage correctly and with confidence. This way of practicing technical exercises will feel meaningful as they are connected with your repertoire. You know why you use these exercices and you will be able to measure the effectiveness of them by the way they help you improve the performance of the musical passages that motivated you to use these exercises and work on your technique in the first place.
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson is a pianist, composer and music teacher. He invites you to download your free piano sheet music at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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