Learning to play an instrument requires the careful development and coordination of many physical, emotional and intellectual skills.
Progress is made through thoughtful, focused time at the piano. Consistent practice with focus on achieving specific goals yields better results.
Plan to practice at least 5 to 6 days a week. The amount of practice time per day will vary with the student’s age, ability to concentrate and musical level. Practice time may be split into smaller segments if the student will be able to focus better with shorter time spans. Parents can help their child set specific times for study each day.
It is understood that there may be occasions when this practice routine is interrupted due to excessive homework, illness or vacations. However, it is important to re-establish the routine as soon as possible. Make up missed time by extending the practice time on other days.
Some students will benefit from keeping a daily practice diary to check off elements of the weekly assignment. It is important to set goals to accomplish in each session.
Younger students may benefit more by having the parent help with practice sessions. For students who are able to work more independently it can be helpful for parents to listen to part of the assignment at the end of a practice session.
Practice sessions may include:
- work on technique
- sight reading
- written work
- learning a new piece
- improving a piece in progress
- reviewing old favorite pieces
- performance practice of pieces for upcoming events such as workshops, recitals, auditions or competitions
- use of the metronome
- counting our loud and
- recording part of the practice
Check for good lighting of the music and keyboard. Check the seating arrangement for appropriate height and distance from the keys. Provide a quiet room for practice, free from distractions.