Regular piano practice is the key to good progress for all piano students. Although everybody progresses at their own rate, regular, effective piano practice is essential – without it there will be little progress.
Use these piano practice tips to help your child form good habits and a regular piano practice routine that can help them progress effectively with their piano lessons.
Top Piano Practice Tips
At Piano Lessons In Parramatta, parents often ask me how they can help their child with his/her practice. Here are my top tips…
Parents should aim to provide:
- Adequate time for their child to practise daily – preferably the same time each day.
- An environment free of distractions during practice time, such as electronic devices, TV, household noise.
- A good instrument, regularly tuned if applicable – it will be much more enjoyable to play on. Ideally the piano should be in a different room from the TV.
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FAQ About Piano Practice:
How long should my child practise piano for?
When they first start piano lessons, their pieces will be short, and 10 minutes per day is usually enough. As they progress towards their second book, try to extend it to 30 minutes per day. By this time they will have a repertoire of old and new pieces, and in time they will have exercises and scales to practise too.
Should I remind my child to practise?
Young children will usually need to be reminded, and you may need to sit with them during their practice. As they get older, they should gradually become responsible for their practice.
My child has a lot of other activities and homework, and doesn’t have much time to practise piano. How can we fit it in?
This will need careful planning with your child. If you sit down together and discuss it, you will probably find there is some time which can be set aside each day, even if it means doing longer practices some days and shorter ones on other days. They could consider breaking up the practice into short sections, eg. Work on the newest or most difficult piece, then later practise everything else, or divide into scales and pieces.
It is good training for developing time-management skills, and it will help keep them motivated and feeling in control.
Should I provide incentives for piano practice?
Incentives such as practice charts can be good for young children, or in older ones if they get out of routine, eg. a certain number of practises per week earns a sticker or a small reward. Try to avoid giving large prizes, as they tend to de-motivate the student in the long term. Ideally we’re aiming for the child to love their music and to practise because they want to.
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How To Practise Piano Effectively – A Piano Practice Routine
- Start with technical work (scales and exercises). Divide into groups if necessary.
- Work on the piece you are learning, or your most difficult piece. This is the piece you will give most attention to. Then reward yourself with the pieces you know and like most.
- Slow, controlled practice is the key to learning a new piece. Play it slowly, then play it even slower! Once you can play it all slowly and evenly, then start to speed it up.
- For difficult sections:
- Start by practicing hands separately
- Break it down into the smallest possible section. Repeat that, slowly, with one hand, several times.
- Go back to the previous bar and play both bars (still one hand, still slow).
- The practice the other hand the same way.
- Then put the 2 hands together and practice the passage the same way.
- Then go back further and play the whole section.
- Repeat the process as many times as required!
- Be diligent with this: don’t allow yourself to move on until you can do the hardest section 4 times without a mistake. You can make a game out of it.
- Have a short break then go back and play the section again – you will probably find you have improved.
- If you’re having trouble with a section, try to avoid going back to the beginning without working slowly on the difficult section first. Chances are, you’ll stumble in exactly the same place and become more frustrated!
- If you’re performing the piece, choose several places within the piece where you can start from if you stumble, and practise starting from those places.
- Use the metronome for difficult sections, but not every time.
Use these piano practice tips to guide and focus your child’s daily routine. Ultimately, effective practice is rewarding and motivating, and teaches good time-management skills and discipline, which will help your child in all their pursuits.
Piano Lessons in Parramatta provides professional piano lessons in a friendly environment. Contact me today! 0499 500 294