10 practical ways to enhance your piano learning experience

What do you want from your piano lessons ?

Piano my dream

Learning to play piano is a life- dream of many people. Performers sit before the instrument and, using fluent movement along the keyboard, they are able to play songs that their audience knows and loves. The dreamer will sign up for lessons hoping that they will learn quickly, be able to produce piano music professionally, and acquire skills that allow them to meet their goals. During this time and probably for the rest of their lives, they would want to stay motivated and develop their skills even more.

There are many offers of lessons available as one- on- one coaching sessions, as group instructions, or as online training. Some will promise ‘Learn piano in 7 days’ or ‘ Have fun playing a song’ or ‘ Easy learning’. Any musician will tell you that learning to play piano is ‘work’, and the satisfaction you get is related to the time and effort you put in.

Let us now look at 10 ways ways to enhance your piano learning:

1.Listen carefully

In order to produce the correct melodies and harmony for any given song, you have to practice listening. Listen to songs on the radio or youtube or Itunes. Observe what happens in the song. Is the song written on two chords only ? If not, do the chords follow the same pattern throughout the song? Are there verses and chorus? Does the rhythm change? Listening to songs will help you to understand the style and patterns of the song you are playing.

2. Sing your music

Sing your musicDon’t be afraid to sing what you are playing. The vocal expression of the melody will keep you playing accurately, and alert you to when something in the music is not right. The fault might be in the melody, or in the rhythm. Singing the song is a way of internalizing and knowing the song better.

3. Practice every day

Schedule a time to practice every day. You will achieve much more if you practice a half an hour each day, than if you practice three hours once per week

4. Practice very soon after a lesson, with support

You should practice within 24 hours of having a coaching lesson and follow up with every day practice. If you are learning from videos, you will have the advantage of having instruction with you as often as you wish. It is important though, to also spend some practice time without out the videos.

5. Play in small bites  practice piano

Sometimes in the excitement of trying to learn a whole song, you might find it challenging to master a passage. Divide the passage into small musical phrases, and practice slowly. After you have mastered phrase one, then move to phrase two.

6. Practice with preset rhythms.

The use of preset rhythms or a metronome is very helpful in learning. Start very slowly and as you improve, increase the   rhythm gradually, until you get to the right tempo. The sound of the rhythm will serve to motivate you while you practice.

7. Jam with fellow musicians or tracks

This makes learning fun, and in order to keep apace with the others, you will develop a heightened sense of alertness. You will learn much faster and always look forward to the next jam session.

Jamming with friends

8. Identify an audience or accountability partner

It might be your child, your partner, your parent or next door neighbour. Identify someone to whom you report your progress from time to time. Play for them or tell them of your achievements.

9. Learn to play music that you love

There are many people who have been going to music lessons for years. They have the greatest piano techniques, but they still cannot play the songs that they truly love. While you are getting formal instructions, look around for books and audio lessons showing you how to play YOUR songs. The goal of piano lessons should be YOUR songs.

Play what you love10. Stick to the program

There are times when the music seems to drag you down. You don’t feel like doing a lesson, you don’t feel like practising and you are ready to give up. The feeling will pass. If you give up, you will regret it. Remember, this is probably one of your biggest life goals. Stick to the program or find a more suitable program.

The key to staying on any piano learning program, is planning to stay motivated. Have you discovered any other ways to stay motivated ? Let us know so that we can share these findings.

Learn more at  https://www.mypianohobby.com/

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5 Comments

  1. rmjia

    Hi. Listening to music and chords being played and at the same time singing the music out helps get me motivated when I got the music comes out right. The one that got me love learning piano more was when I was playing with the musical band in church. I learnt new chords and music patterns every time I played with the band and in front of the congregation that it kept me motivated to keep playing more.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Oh yes. Playing along with others is such a motivating experience. There is so much music to learn and playing with a church band is a great way to keep learning new patterns and chords. The good thing is that in a church band the players usually are quite patient. Thank you for your interest and your comments. Best wishes.

      Reply
  2. Suzanne OBrien

    ​Learning to play music that you love is so important, as is learning the scales, and site reading. Warming up with the scales daily, getting the fingering correct and fluid will go a long way to strengthening the fingers, hands and carpal tunnel as proper hand/finger positioning is emphasized. I believe my 8 years of piano lessons prepared me for horrendously long days and decades of computer work where, all around me folks were getting carpal tunnel surgery but not me. I type on the laptop as if I am playing! Keep the music flowing♥

    Reply
  3. Suz

    Learning to play music that you love is so important, as is learning the scales, and site reading.  Warming up with the scales daily, getting the fingering correct and fluid will go a long way to strengthening the fingers, hands and carpal tunnel as proper hand/finger positioning is emphasized.  I believe my 8 years of piano lessons prepared me for horrendously long days and decades of computer work where, all around me folks were getting carpal tunnel surgery but not me.  I type on the laptop as if I am playing!  Keep the music flowing♥

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Yes Sue, those piano exercises really equip you to manage the computer keyboard. Finger/hand/eyes/brain all get together to make beautiful music. Thanks for your reminder. Best wishes

      Reply

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