Practicing the piano, or any instrument, is a huge part of developing your skills, obviously. But many people are confused about how to practice. Here are some helpful tips:
Think of quality, not quantity. 15 minutes of deliberate, focused, efficient practice is MUCH better than 60 minutes of doodling, meandering, and mindlessly playing something over and over to pass the time. There are entire books on how to practice, but one of the best ways to learn how to practice is to take piano lessons! One of the most important things we do in lessons and the majority of time spent in lessons is PRACTICING with the student so they build good habits.
When I teach in my studio, I write down reminders and pointers for students. Some of the things I write most often that apply to most students and most situations are:
- practice slowly so it’s easy to keep the flow
- small sections at a time (how small? small enough that it’s easy!)
- repeat several times in a row (not mindlessly, but with focus)
- connect sections together, repeating several times in a row
- if it’s too hard or you keep making mistakes, either 1) go slower, or 2) play a smaller section
Also, it’s important to practice OFTEN. A little bit every day is much better than 6 days of nothing and then 3 hours all at once. Things that we do regularly become habits much easier.