Practice Strategies In Piano
Written by Na Young Kim, Alessio Mastrodonato, Denys Bodnar, Dr. Deborah Armstrong, Ravell Galil, and Vladana Ebilji
Embarking on a journey to master the piano requires more than just talent – it demands a disciplined and strategic approach to daily practice. In this article, we delve into a structured routine that not only cultivates consistent improvement but also enhances the overall musicality of your playing.
From setting achievable goals to perfecting posture, warming up effectively, and tackling challenging pieces, each step is a crucial component in the pianist's quest for excellence.
1. Establish a regular daily practice routine; consistent practice is the key to improvement.
2. Find a quiet place for your daily practice, removing all distractions, including phones, tablets, and unnecessary devices.
3. Set achievable goals, both short and long term, for your practice session, applying your teacher's advice from lessons.
4. Perform warm-up exercises, such as star jumps with stretching, to prepare yourself for practice.
5. Check your posture, adjusting your chair height if necessary (so that the elbow is at the same level as the keyboard), and ensure proper hand position (bridge with curved fingers). Sit with a tall back at the piano.
6. Begin with scales, arpeggios, and your étude/finger exercises.
7. Start practicing your newest/most challenging piece while your focus is sharp.
8. Review your other repertoire.
9. Practice separately if your playing needs more clarity, and use a metronome to ensure a steady pulse.
10. Shape your phrases and focus on the balance between melody and accompaniment.
11. Practice performing – use your phone to record yourself and listen for areas to improve.
12. Work on memory by memorizing a short excerpt of your piece. Smaller sections are great for longer and more challenging pieces.
13. Include sight-reading in your practice routine. Regular sight-reading practice enhances your reading speed. This skill is essential, especially when faced with complex musical passages that require quick and accurate interpretation.
14. Seize every opportunity to perform your piece for others or musicians when you can.
15. Listen to the recordings of your pieces recommended by your teacher.
16. Enjoy practising!