What Not To Do When Practicing The Piano

What Not To Do When Practicing The Piano

Have you decided to give your child the gift of music? Are you looking for a piano to bring into your home for your child to learn on? 

Congratulations! Playing the piano is a rewarding hobby that can enrich your life from 1 to 101. 

Yet playing the piano isn’t something that happens overnight. It requires a lot of practice to develop the skills necessary to play the songs you love. Yet that’s the fun of it all. 

Practicing the piano can be a rewarding experience every time you sit down at the piano … if you plan correctly. 

Have the right tools for the job

You wouldn’t practice tennis with a fly swatter. You wouldn’t practice your soccer skills barefoot. Yet what a lot of parents don’t consider when selecting their child’s first piano is that a poor quality piano or keyboard has the same effect. 

To create a pleasing sound, you need a piano that is regularly maintained, has a rich, vibrant sound, and plays like a piano should play. Try your skills on a tinny toy piano, and your child will lose interest almost immediately. 

Sit correctly

When it comes to playing the piano, one seat can’t cover everything. You can’t pull up the dining room chair and expect it to provide a proper seat. 

It also depends on the age and height of your child. Someone who is four feet tall will sit differently at the table than one who is six feet tall. If you get a suitable piano bench, it can adjust to provide proper sitting no matter what size. 

Stop labeling the keys

If you look around online, you’ll find sites that allow you to print off labels for the keys. You can place it just above the keyboard, or attach the letters to the keys themselves. 

This may seem like a good idea at first, but it can actually weaken practice skills by looking at the letters rather than learning the actual placement of the notes. It’s common to get mixed up in the beginning. That’s what practice is all about. 

Reaching for music skills that are too hard

Maybe you have a dream song you’ve wanted to play. You have the music and look at it every day. 

But if you attempt to play it before your skills allow you to, you’ll be left with frustration. 

Practice improves your technical skills. You’ll get comfortable with playing the more that you play. 

If you genuinely have the desire to play a particular piece, let your music teacher know. They might be able to find sheet music to match your ability. At the very least, they can keep it in mind as a goal, and give it to you as a reward when they feel you’re ready. 

What tips help you when practicing the piano?

When You Don’t Feel Like Practicing The Piano

When You Don’t Feel Like Practicing The Piano

Have you ever put off practicing the piano? 

We’ve all done it. 

No matter how much you know you should sit down and play, the other side of you finds any excuse possible to ignore playing. 

Why is that? It might be because of the amount of practice you think you have to do. 

Do you assign yourself practice sessions in minutes – 30 minutes a day? That can drive bad feelings into the brain. Thirty minutes can seem like forever if you have other things you want to do. 

Or maybe you’ve assigned yourself specific tasks. Maybe you practice a certain amount of scales, or will be playing a song a certain amount of times through before you can get up. Again, these lists of “chores” can seem difficult at best, especially if you don’t particularly enjoy the process. When You Don’t Feel Like Practicing The Piano

Our brains are trained to keep us away from things we don’t like. Think of them as the friend that tries to steer you to only the enjoyable things in life. It’s up to us to control those urges, and keep us on track to do everything we need to do. 

When it comes to practicing, it might be easier if you give yourself rewards first. 

Instead of focusing on a time limit, sit down to play something you enjoy. A favorite song, or maybe even creating your own music. Once you’re sitting, you’ll have a much easier time of flowing into the next phase. 

Or instead of focusing on things you don’t like about practice – scales – leave that until the end. Your fingers will be more ready to take on the action, and it will seem like a part of the process rather than a chore when you sit down. 

Sometimes the easiest way to get started is just to sit down and do it. But give yourself a reward at first, and you’ll find yourself looking forward to the opportunity. 

Practicing The Piano: Sometimes It’s About Reflection

Practicing The Piano: Sometimes It’s About Reflection

As a parent, sometimes it’s difficult helping our children practice the piano. We want them to get better. To learn to love creating music and do it well. So we push. 

When they sit down, we listen for the details. We expect to hear warm ups – scales are usually in the mix. Then we expect to hear music. Possibly running through a song or two, or practicing a certain part. Over and over again. Practicing The Piano: Sometimes It’s About Reflection

We listen for it. We time it. We probe when we don’t hear what we anticipate. 

But sometimes there’s more to practicing the piano than hitting the keys and hammering out a tune. Sometimes it’s the introspect that makes a difference too. 

Imagine for a moment you’re making a fancy dinner for a special night. You’ve planned for this for days. You’ve shopped for the best ingredients. You’ve laid out the silver and china. You expect perfection. 

You add a little of this. Stir. Add a little bit more. It simmers. It blends. 

You take a spoonful and taste. You reflect. You determine it needs a little more of this. Or a little more of that. 

Reflection is a natural part of a cook’s repertoire. It’s something she does to ensure her meal turns out just the way she planned.  

The same can be said for a piano player. 

Music is something you create, you feel, and you hear. And each of those skills must be refined over and over again. 

Sure, you can practice several hours a day, beating out a tune over and over again. But what did you truly learn?

Instead, sitting down and feeling the music means the notes become an extension of who you are. That means understanding the music. That means feeling the notes. And reflecting on how you can put you into every step of the process. 

If you really want your child to love playing the piano and improve his or her skills, don’t just listen for the music. Ask about reflection. What does a song do for her? How does she feel it before she plays it? 

A little reflection can go a long way. It can help turn her into a lifelong lover of music. 

Do Even The Best Piano Players Practice?

Do Even The Best Piano Players Practice?

There is a common assumption out there that once you get really good at something, you no longer have to practice. You become as good as you’ll get and the rest comes naturally.

Not true.Do Even The Best Piano Players Practice?

When you do something over and over again, you take on an effortless appearance. It seems as if you can do it without really trying at all. You have the skills. You have the knowledge. You know how to put all best efforts into practice. At that point you “get it”.

You’re one of the best. And you either have it or you don’t.

If you’ve always wanted to be a great piano player, chances are you’ve watched “the best” and marveled at their talent. It’s human nature to focus in on their talents, and look on in amazement at all they display.

But are you born with a talent for piano playing? Probably not.

Instead, what some people are born with is a desire to play the piano. So they buy a piano and start playing. They take lessons. They learn from the best. They improvise.

They practice.

Over and over again, many hours over the course of days, weeks, months.

If you ask someone who has a desire to play piano, they’ll probably have a belief that it takes “natural talent” to become an accomplished pianist. After all, they know just how difficult it is to play a quality tune.

But if you ask an accomplished pianist what it took to get to where they are today, you’ll very rarely hear “talent”. Instead you’ll hear “hard work”.

The more you play, the more you enjoy playing the piano. They more you play, the better you get. The more practice you put in, the more accomplished you will become.

Practice puts certain muscles into action. If you skip practice, those muscles slow down. They don’t operate at the same level as before. You miss the little things that once made you good.

Do even the best piano players in the world know this? You bet.

That’s why they practice every day.

When Your Child Is Scared About Her Piano Recital

When Your Child Is Scared About Her Piano Recital

Does your child have a piano recital coming up?

If she has been playing for a while, now she has a chance to display her progress. She may be excited to show you her new-found talents in a formal setting. But she may also be experiencing something else. Fear.

When Your Child Is Scared About Her Piano RecitalThe recital is less than a month away, and your child is understandably nervous and scared. You are also rather anxious yourself! You want the experience to be an exciting one, not an agonizing one. So how can you prepare your child for a piano recital so that it’s not a nerve-wracking experience?

Here are some tips to prepare your child for their piano recital:

Don’t decide for them. Talk to your child and ask them if they truly want to participate in the recital. If they don’t want to participate, don’t force them. Your child has a mind of her own, and if she began piano lessons so that she can play at home instead of compete, then it’s perfectly fine for her to skip the recital. Respect your child’s decision if they don’t want to compete. Talk to her teacher. Is she really ready for the formality of a recital? Her teacher is also her support system. She may help her overcome her fears as well and choose to move forward once she realizes everyone has fear about the first time.

Give them plenty of encouragement. If they decide to participate in a piano recital, support their decision to do so and offer them encouragement. Tell them how brave they are and help them overcome their anxiety by boosting their self-confidence.

Remind them that practice makes perfect. Your child should ideally practice for at least a half hour every day until the day of the recital. This will help her to perfect the piece. Listen and give helpful suggestions when appropriate. Don’t make her nervous. Leave the true critiquing to her teacher

Assist them in choosing a piano piece. If the teacher doesn’t make this decision with your child, you can go over the pieces and help her choose one that she feels comfortable playing. Her teacher should be open to this suggestion.

Help them relax on recital day. Your child should feel comfortable, so help them to be less nervous. Assure them that they will do fine, and arrive early so as not to rush before the recital.

A piano recital is a very exciting experience that can also be extremely rewarding for your child. After the first recital, the second one should be a piece of cake!

Why Kids Hate Practicing The Piano And What To Do About It

Why Kids Hate Practicing The Piano And What To Do About It

Every parent wants what is best for their child.  For many parents this ideal childhood includes instruction in several types of activities: speech, sports, the arts, or instruments.  For many families, instrumental instruction begins with a very foundational instrument: the piano.

Why Kids Hate Practicing The Piano And What To Do About ItWhile these families mean well, many of them end up fighting a loosing battle between the need for practice and the child’s obvious dislike for it.  So, what makes a kid hate practicing and what can parents do about it?  Here are a number of potential reasons to consider as well as a few solutions that might help resolve the situation.

  1. No challenge – It can be difficult to gauge a child’s ability levels, especially if they don’t exert themselves.  If a child is presented with too little challenge, they may find practicing to be a drudgery, a pointless exercise providing little stimulation.  If this is the case, than parents and teachers can work together to provide the child with a selection of music that stretches and stimulates the child’s ability.
  2. No interest – Let’s face it: most beginner books are filled with classical music.  While these are excellent pieces to learn, they typically are not the type of music your child wants to listen to.  If your kids are finding the musical selection to be a bit old fashioned, you might want to consider incorporating some music that is more their style.
  3. No goals – Without clear goals in mind, there is little motivation for a child to press on in their practicing.  Goals, when met, give a sense of accomplishment and personal gain.  If your child hates practicing, perhaps all they need is a goal and an incentive to reach it. Make them stretch to be able to read and play a certain song they love. Or if motivated by performance, tantalize them with a performance date
  4. 4. No heart – Sometimes the main problem with piano lessons is the fact that the child just doesn’t like the piano.  This does not mean if you meet with a bit of resistance you should give up.  But if your child seems to consistently despise all things piano, perhaps you should consider a different instrument.