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The Top 10 Ways to Make Piano Lessons Fun!

Jan 18, 2008
Looking for a little entertainment with your music homework? Here are the top 10 ways to make piano lessons fun:

1. Go With The Flow. Sometimes it's easier to practice piano lessons when they reflect the mood that we're in. If it's a sunny day outside, play some music that complements the weather. If you're excited about a raise at work or a high grade at school, play some music that complements your achievement. Even if you're feeling a bit blue, complementary music may prove to be therapeutic and help you cope with whatever has got you down. On the flip side, much of what's "fun" is creative, so turn the tables and go against the current atmosphere if you dare. Care to brighten up a stormy night outside? Play some of the most cheerful music you can find!

2. Play music for your lover. Many of the songs we have today were written for someone else. In fact, love is the theme among a lot of the music we play even when there aren't any accompanying lyrics. So see how your performance improves by thinking of a lost love, your current lover, or even your fantasy lover while playing. If you don't notice any significant improvement, you'll have to admit it was fun thinking about it!

3. Try different kinds of music. Get out of a rut you're in by playing music you're not familiar with. As challenging as that idea may be, lively pieces can make practice fun as long as you relax with it. Try some pop music from the 50s or some cool R & B tunes from the early 60s. A little 'old school' Diana Ross or Aretha Franklin is often enough to make anything fun!

4. Expose yourself to foreign music. Chances are you'll find some of the most unique pieces of music originating outside of the United States. For whatever reason, there just isn't enough of it infiltrating into mainstream radio. But that just kind of makes it more special, doesn't it? Wrap your ears around some of this stuff and you'll learn how other cultures exploit the unique sounds of the piano. Perhaps you'll pick up a few new techniques along the way.

5. Play something else. See how well you can adapt other instruments into a simulated piano just by pressing specific parts of it. The electronic piano is an obvious choice, but why not get crazy and run your fingers across the keyboard you're sitting behind for example. A windowsill? A coffee table? Your chosen victims may not produce any sound, but it's this very lack of pitch that will focus your thoughts on finger placement. Go figure!

6. Play with a partner. Are two pianists better than one? Well in all honesty, it depends on how well they get along! If you can find a partner who complements your playing style, then congratulations -- the two of you shall make beautiful music together. Literally. If not, consider playing alongside a violinist, tuba player, or someone who can sing really well. Remember that the key behind this strategy is to have fun with everything from choosing music all the way to entertaining a small crowd or two.

7. Play along with the songs that you hear. This strategy could be more challenging than fun, but if approached with the right mindset, you just might find yourself giggling all while you learn new things at the same time. If you're a little bored with your current collection of CD's, try playing along with songs on the radio or TV. You'll find the jingles that accompany TV commercials especially entertaining.

8. Write your own music. This is another challenging way to practice the piano -- but it will at least strengthen your skills. Just don't try to write a masterpiece in one day.

9. Improvise when you've mastered a song. Instead of writing your own music from scratch, try improving the music that already exists with a little improv. Take a somber piece and attempt to liven it with a few interesting runs. Or do the exact opposite with a happy piece. Insert some questionable yet interesting and thought-provoking pauses into a piece where there ought not be any. In other words, have fun!

10. Switch the genre. What would a Chopin piece sound like in a gospel church? How about a Gershwin piece? What if you were to play it with an MC Hammer twist? Try changing the rhythm of a song and see what you get. A lot of the creative pieces we have are the result of mixing different elements of music together into one.

What else can you add to this list of top 10 ways to make piano lessons fun?
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