Play Piano Today With Dr. J

More Ideas for Creating a Toolkit of Piano Skills

Posted on: July 7, 2009

Are you a successful pianist? Do you have a toolkit of skills, traits, and habits to aid your journey of studying the piano?  Start today to create your personal toolkit filled with self-discipline, technical skills, and reading skills.

A successful pianist has achieved success because of self-discipline.  The successful pianist has learned the importance of regular practice and has learned exactly how to use their practice time efficiently and prudently to achieve a goal.  The self-discipline may come in the form of a practice schedule closely followed day after day or not allowing oneself to attempt pieces beyond their current abilities knowing that with continued self-discipline and goal setting the more difficult piece will be learned at the right time.

The successful pianist has achieved success because of diligently practicing technical exercises.  They know the importance of technical warm-ups and finger dexterity and strengthening exercises and regularly make those part of each practice session.  A successful pianist knows how to work out difficult passages by trying various fingering combinations.  They look for creative ways to move the arms, hands, and fingers to create the desired musical effects.

The successful pianist has achieved success because they have developed music reading skills.  They carefully peruse a piano piece before playing it to make mental notations of key, rhythmic relationships, harmonies, dynamics, and tempo markings.  They develop the trait of looking ahead and of anticipating the flow of the music to and through the cadential points to the conclusion of the music.

The successful pianist has achieved success because they have honed the power of musical analysis.  A piano piece is more than a group of black dots, lines and instructive words on a page.  The successful pianist can hear in their mind the move and flow of the music through harmonic analysis, key and rhythmic relationships, dynamics and tempo.  Before the successful pianist plays an audible note on the piano, they know what sounds they want to create on the piano.

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    • bhundley1: I'm interested in your elaborating on the "fingering" aspect of practice. Are you a fan of Czerny, for instance, in terms of building up dexterity wi
    • promotionmusic: Thanks for your response. Congratulations to you on the work you are doing in the piano world.

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