Upgrading Your Piano Progress for 2018

Upgrading Your Piano Progress for 2018

The new year is filled with goals and resolutions to make this the best year yet. For many, their goals include becoming a better piano player. No matter if you’re just starting out or have been playing for years, the key to better playing is to improve the way you play. It’s not all about getting into more difficult music patterns. Sometimes your approach needs a little tweaking. 

Start with new music

This is one of the easiest places to start. Are you stuck in a rut? Do you tend to go with the same composers or genres over and over again? Break out of your patterns and explore new music. Pick up classical. How about pop? Every artist or genre offers you something new to build into the way you play. If you’ve worked with an instructor for a while, ask for different challenges to improve your skills. Maybe now is the time to move to group lessons or pick up a partner for a duet? Upgrading Your Piano Progress for 2018

Set new goals

While many players simply start the year by saying they want to play better, what does that mean to you? If you pursue a tangible objective, it’s easier to tally your work along the way. Select challenging pieces of music you’ll aspire to play. Or maybe you’ve desired to begin to play in public; a music festival or concert can be a great motivator. Rapid improvement always follows a decisive change in your approach. 

Add a warm up routine

Many piano players sit down and begin to work on their latest piece of music. Like athletics, it’s important to warm up before every session you bring on. Warm ups take a few minutes but can make a world of difference in your focus, your concentration, and your finger power. Scales are always a good place to start. Watch your movements and focus on how finger joint performs as you increase your speed and velocity. What works for you? What can you change?

Play from memory

If you’ve never memorized a piece before, now may be the time. Playing from memory isn’t required for simple pleasure playing, but the more active you become in the industry, the more it is required. Give yourself a challenge. Start small. Take a short piece and work on memorizing each hand. Learning memorization skills will help direct your attention to the music and the sound you are producing. It sharpens your listening skills along the way. 

Practice pedaling

It might also be time to incorporate pedaling into your piano practice. The use of the sustaining pedal (right) and una corda pedal (left) are commonplace for pianists from the beginning to advanced levels. But how about the sostenuto pedal (middle)? It can be fun to incorporate new sounds and actions into your daily routine. Ask your teacher for ways to use this as you improve your playability. 

With some thought, you can make this year full of changes and advancement that will keep you excited about all the opportunities piano playing brings into your life. 

Simple Rules To Keep Your Piano Healthy

Simple Rules To Keep Your Piano Healthy

Because your piano is a working instrument filled with moving parts, it needs a little more care than the average piece of furniture sitting in the same room. There are things only a trained technician should do to keep your piano in good working condition – tuning for instance. And there are some things you can do on a regular basis to help extend the life of your piano.

Regulate The Environment Around Your Piano

A piano performs at its best when the environment around it remains relatively stable. While that may seem difficult, especially with huge fluctuations in both temperature and moisture levels as we move from summer to winter, there are things you can do at home to regulate the temperature.Simple Rules To Keep Your Piano Healthy

The cold can weaken the wooden parts of a piano; add too much pressure and they can snap. The heat can negatively effect the strings, and can loosen the felt on the hammers. Ideally the temperature in your room should always remain in the 70 to 72° F range, with humidity best in the 40 to 50 percent range.

Regulate the room’s temperature with an air conditioner or heater, but keep vents for both at a distance from the piano itself. Its also best to keep a piano away from an exterior wall so its not affected by extreme cold periods. Keep away from windows that allow direct sunlight to shine on the piano, which can cause discoloration and could possibly crack the piano’s finish.

Keep Drinks And Food Away From Your Piano

While this advice sounds very basic, it still is something that should be emphasized, especially to kids. In today’s world, we always have a glass of water or a water bottle at close range. And depending on the type of piano and its location, it may seem like the perfect resting spot for your drink. But if liquid seeps into the piano keys and reaches the interior of the piano, major damage can occur quickly.

If liquid spills onto the keyboard, wipe excess liquid from the keys’ surface immediately. To avoid water movement, try not to press any keys while cleaning up. If liquid does seep between the keys, contact a piano technician as soon as possible for maintenance.

For spills on electronic keyboards, unplug at once. Do not attempt to shake off excess water, and only clean up surface liquid. By pressing too hard, you can actually drive liquids deeper into the piano. Wait a few days to thoroughly dry out before plugging in and testing it. If any problems occur, consult with a piano technician for more information.

Adjust The Keylid

When you aren’t playing your piano, the keylid is designed to cover the keys and keep them safe from dust, air particles and other debris from your home. While covering your keys is a good idea, too much of a good thing can be bad as well. If the lid remains closed for too long, it can allow mold and mildew to form inside the keys, especially if the piano is kept in a dark or humid location.

Keep the keylid open periodically to allow air circulation over the keys. You can also occasionally go over your keys with a vacuum cleaner attachment to remove small particles that reside on the tops of the keys. A lightly dampened cloth can also be used to remove build up from your fingertips.