Play Piano Today With Dr. J

Posts Tagged ‘piano practice

Ah, the two “P” words – “Practice and Performance!”

The “showers and flowers” of the art of playing the piano. As the Spring Recital nears, I find the analogy of glorious spring flowers and glorious recital performances fitting.

Seedlings chosen = repertoire chosen

Soil prepared = fingerings prepared, analysis started

Plants placed in the soil = slow practice begins with hands alone

Plants are watered = encouragement from Jeannine, colleagues, family and friends

Plants take root = understanding of the piece comes together, parts together practice begins, chordal and cadential analysis continues

Plants buffeted by April showers (or rain, heavy wind and hail) = frustration over the number of repetitions needed to learn a cadential phrase or a difficult fingering start to creep into the practice routine

Plants bask in the sun and start to bud = the slow repetitions with the metronome, the careful work to avoid making a mistake more than three times starts to bring success with what was a difficult piece

Plants send out more roots and buds start to open =  the beauty of the notes now starting to sound like beautiful music

Buds become flowers = the diligent practice pays off and the full piece is played for Jeannine with success

Plant shows its full beauty and glory with every perfectly formed flower surrounded by beautiful foliage = the music chosen, carefully practiced, nurtured through storm and doubt, now comes to full bloom and is shared with family and friends

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Every productive piano practice session is composed of several things.  First, each practice session should have a specific goal in mind.  Is that goal to be able to play a specific cadence of a repertoire piece successfully or to work out an intricate rhythm, or to practice technique only with exercises and scales or to work on memory?  The possibilities are endless, but every piano practice session should have a goal.

Once the goal is set, make sure you know how the finished passage or exercise, or cadence will sound.

Second devise a piano practice plan.  Determine how much time you will spend on specific activities or when you will let yourself move to the next challenge.

What methods will you use?  How will you get to your goal – by using a metronome, by practicing rhythms away from the keyboard, by playing short sections, or by working on fingering?

Determine how you will know when you are finished for the piano practice session.  Has the timer run out or are you finished when you are tired or when you have accomplished your goal.

Answer those questions and your piano practice sessions will be a sucess and it will be a joy to make music on the piano.



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  • freeonlinemusiclessons: Hey nice blog. I just picked up you RSS FEEDS. Check out my new website, you’ll like it! http://freeonlinemusiclessons.com
  • 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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