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5 Common Practice Mistakes And How to Correct Them?

Bluetimbre
24/07/2017 0 0

Mistake 1: Not actually practicing:

Both kids and adults lead busy lives, and consequently it’s easy to make the mistake of not prioritizing piano practice, or making it a secondary priority relative to other tasks / activitiies. We all go through periods where we struggle to find time to practice, but once you being to really enjoy playing, practice time becomes something to look forward to. Try to allocate a certain time (or times) each day when practice is part of your routine (much like brushing your teeth).

Mistake 2: Setting keyboard up in a location that is ‘out of sight’ (and therefore ‘out of mind’):

Setting the keyboard up in a back room you rarely go into, or worse, putting the keyboard away in a cupboard with the intention of getting around to practice one day soon is not the way to encourage the habit of practice in your home.
Instead, set the keyboard up in a prominent position such as the living room or dining room, where it is easily accessible and where the mere sight of it will serve as a reminder to do your practice.

Mistake 3: Practicing for long sessions:

Much like pruning hedges, little and often is the key. Even professional musicians who practice 6-8 hours per day do not remain at the piano / keyboard for more than 40 minutes in any one sitting. They take regular breaks and come back to different aspects of their practice for each relatively short session.
For most piano students, a reasonable amount of practice is around 30 minutes per day, and for adults, doing this in one sitting may work. For some students, especially kids, 1-2 short sessions of 10-15 minutes per day is usually much more effective.
Whatever your circumstances, the rough guide is to only practice(in any one sitting) for as long as you can before you start to become mentally tired.

Mistake 4: Practicing what you already know:

It may be fun to play through songs or chords you are already familiar with, but what are you really learning?  Many students get excited with they feel like they have just made some progress  in their piano practice, and so they continue to play what they just learned rather than make the effort to learn something new and uncertain.  This is often followed by boredom and discouragement.  Make it your goal to try something new during each practice session to keep things interesting.

Mistake 5: Failing to revise pieces to maintain a repertoire:

Having made the above point that just playing through material you already know and can play easily can be a ‘cop-out’ that is not really piano practice, the opposite is just as common for some students. It may surprise you to know that many students, once they have learned a piece, are disinclined to  ever play/practice it again, instead preferring to always push ahead to the next new piece.

This addiction to completing lessons / levels is, for some students, part of the appeal of Musiah’s online piano lessons. But it can lead to a scenario where students are unable to play anything for family / friends / visitors because the student has not yet finished the piece they are currently learning, and they have forgotten much of the pieces they have learned recently because they have not made a point of going over them occasionally to maintain a repertoire of say 5 songs they can play upon demand.

So there is a balance to be reached here. At least once a week, allocate some time for ‘refreshing’ your memory by revising some of the pieces you have already learned, not so you can get out of practicing / learning something new, but for the specific purpose of maintaining a repertoire that will enable you to share what you have learned with others.

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