Practicing certain exercises over and over, especially if it's taking a while to get it down, can be hard work.
We’ve all had that day where we have set some time aside to practice the piano and we know what we have to work on; Exercises to improve our precision, coordination, and stamina at the piano.
Unfortunately, exercises can be boring as hell -- so what do we do? We say “nah I’ll do it tomorrow” or we end up just playing the things we already know how to do and in turn learn nothing new.
We often forget however that the big picture for us is that we want to enjoy our experience at the piano and be able to play the things we love.
However in order to do that there are things that we have to do daily that require focus, discipline, dedication and mindful repetition. So why not just make those things fun?
The 3 Items -- Play a little game to gauge your progress
Place 3 items on the piano and for each time you play the exercise or groups of exercises perfect, remove one item. Repeat until all items are gone.
If you mess up just once, all 3 items must go back up. This ensures that you’ve practiced your exercises to the best of your ability and can play them 3 times in a row.
I use the word perfect but don’t get carried away by being a perfectionist.
Here are 3 questions you can use to gauge your “perfect” practice
#1 Did I play all the notes correctly?
#2 Did I play it in time, consistently without skipping a note or beat?
#3 Did I have correct, consistent fingering?
Not only is this a surefire way to gauge how well you know something and keep you goal oriented, it also keeps your practice nuanced, engaging and fun at the same time.
Dessert After Dinner -- reward yourself for
your good work
It feels great to play the things you can play masterfully especially after a great, focused practice session. Not only does it feel more deserved, it is encouraging and something to look forward to in later practice sessions.
Leave the stuff you already know for last. It does you no service to spend your serious practice on what you know but leaving it for the end gives a deep sense of satisfaction that you’ve accomplished what you wanted for the day.
It’s worth mentioning as well that our brains get tired especially when we’re working on particularly challenging passages.
So it’s a better use of your brain power to work out those challenging parts first. Then, when your brain is practically mush, you can work on things it already knows and give your brain the pat on the back it so positively deserves.
Harry L. Rios
Founder of HarryLRios.com
Harry L. Rios.com