Here's a two minute video I made with a tip for you from my new ebook!
Just click the video play button to watch!
How Can Piano Playing Nurture Your Creative Energy?
I've launched my first ebook, What You Need To Know, Have & Do To Start Piano Right!
(The crowd roars.)
On the surface, it’s a book geared toward piano beginners or those who want to return to piano after a gap of time.
But how is my piano ebook relevant to my brand about nurturing your creativity and inspiration through positive self-care?
Oh, good. I’m so glad you asked.
Self-Care Is The Source Of Your Muse
Having interviewed creatives from artists, writers and composers to educators, I've learned something about the connection between self-care and creative inspiration. As a creator myself, I know that no matter what creative outlet manifests for you personally, there will be no creative energy unless you take care of yourself first.
I’m introducing this first ebook about piano because I know from playing and teaching piano for more than 30 years that developing piano skills is a huge positive for the self-care department.
Are You Wondering If YOU Could Learn To Play Piano?
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn piano, but you’ve followed a different creative route as a visual artist. Or maybe you’ve had a family and have been on a busy trek with adulting. Or maybe you’re a musician who wants to add keyboards to your music or compositions. Maybe you’re retired and are looking for rewarding things to do in your golden stage of life. Or, you played piano years ago, and are yearning to play again.
I’m here to tell all of you—every single one of you—that now is the time to go for it. Playing piano is for everyone.
I’ve taught students from four year old children to 90-year seniors, from one-on-one private lessons, to small groups, to large classes of more than 40 students. And I’m telling you, playing piano is something anyone can learn.
Why would you?
Do You Want To Improve Your Quality of Life?
Making time for yourself now to finally learn the piano can bring tremendous emotional, physical and mental rewards. In my new ebook, you’ll learn a great deal more about the benefits of piano. But let me go on record here to say that playing piano has incredibly positive effects on your mood and emotional well-being.
Research on piano study has proven additional impact on academics and learned discipline for children. Research on piano study also shows it develops and prolongs memory, and other cognitive skills for all ages. Learning piano can even benefit you physically by warding off hearing loss, and decreasing aches and pains!
How Can Playing Piano Improve Your Confidence?
Playing piano is a powerfully therapeutic tool. Playing music allows you a safe place to express yourself authentically. Where there are no words, playing piano rises to fill the need for spiritual connection and emotional expression.
Playing piano is a beautiful way to nurture your self-care. It allows you to improve self-confidence by developing the ability to overcome self-limited thinking patterns. As you gradually develop piano skills, your sense of accomplishment transforms your outlook on your future success. That is a powerful tool for self-esteem.
How Can Piano Playing Replenish Your Creative Energy?
If you’ve checked out any of my blogs or podcasts on YourCreativeChord, you’ll know that an aspect of creative rejuvenation involves challenging new experiences. Whether it’s driving home a different route, trying a new cuisine, learning a new language or cooking with a new recipe, exploring a new thing is a profound catalyst for sparking creative energy.
So if you’ve been wanting to learn piano, or you want to come back to piano lessons, know that this musical journey brings the wonderful benefit of boosting your creativity. The rewards of playing piano also extend to the personally gratifying experiences of accomplishment, improved mood (can you imagine how that helps your relationships with others?), and the joy of self-expression.
How My New Piano Ebook Benefits Your Creative Life
These are all part of the interconnected ocean of self-care. Learning to try new things, do the things we always wanted to, and challenge ourselves are fantastic ways to develop self-care. Self-care as a way of life allows you to awaken new thought processes, generate fresh ideas, replenish your energy and live a more inspired and balanced quality of life.
So, this is how my ebook, What You Need To Know, Have & Do To Start Piano Right! can benefit your creative life. I hope you take the leap of faith in yourself to try this new thing. I know you’re gonna love it.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MY EBOOK:
"What a great resource for potential piano parents to have."
~-Krista Schupbach, PIANO TEACHER
"Excellent e-book! EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING PIANO. There is just about everything you can think in [this ebook], like a bible of what you should know. I also enjoyed previous articles and links from [YourCreativeChord.com] blog -- which only strengthens [the author] as an authority on piano. Great job!"
--Joshua Sohn, FILM & GAME COMPOSER
"A great book that will inspire many people to take up piano lessons. It inspires me to continue playing and composing. Many people [will want] to start piano studies after reading [this] ebook. Looking forward to [the author's] next ebook."
--Alex Dawson, RETIRED PIANO TEACHER
"Genuinely, this is a good resource, and a reassuring one to someone coming at the piano with some trepidation, intimidation, or wondering, Am I too old to start?"
--Tracie Callahan, COMPOSER, MUSIC EDUCATOR
Start Piano: What You Need For Successful Learning Ebook
A practical, down-to-earth, all-in-one resource and easy-to-read guide for anyone interested in getting started or returning to piano lessons.
As my gift to you, with every purchase of my ebook, you'll automatically receive a FREE download of my original photo with a self-care affirmation.
Get Everything You Need To Successfully Start Piano With My Ebook, "Start Piano: What You Need For Successful Learning" A practical, down-to-earth, all-in-one resource and easy-to-read guide for anyone interested in getting started or returning to piano lessons. Topics include what kind of keyboard is necessary, how to find a quality instrument and piano method, whether you need and how to find a good piano teacher, whether online tools for piano learning are valuable, what’s needed for a successful start to piano learning, and how to maintain continued piano progress. This ebook provides answers to those seeking a successful start or greater momentum for piano progress.
As my gift to you, with every purchase of my ebook, you'll automatically receive a FREE download of my original photo with an affirmation. The affirmation poster is completely free to download, print, use as a desktop wallpaper or screensaver for your computer.
The beauty of nature and positive words brings inspiration. We all need reminders. May this small gift of beauty and positive thought remind you of your immense potential for creative energy and inspire you to tap into your best self.
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
These are a few things that I have done over the years as a pianist and they have worked well to improve my technique and keep dexterity and fluency in my fingers.
One of the most critical things you can do to improve your technique is practice it consistently. In other words, practice every single day. Do not miss a day. Even if you can only play for five minutes, do not miss a day.
Another critical aspect is to practice effectively. See more detail and tips on that here.
How Much Technique
If you have two hours to practice daily, start with the idea of one hour of technique practice per day. The second hour spent on actual repertoire makes sense toward decent progress. During your piano technique practice, incorporate scales, etudes and other exercises such as those found in a good Hanon exercise book.
Scales, Accents and Varying Accents
Start learning all major and minor scales in 4 octaves. Play around with the rhythm patterns of the scales. For example, try playing a scale using the rhythm pattern of straight quarter note rhythms. Then accent the first beat (quarter note) as you play all four octaves of a scale. Then play the scale again (or another scale) as you alternate the accent to the second beat, then to the third beat, then the fourth beat as you play through each scale.
Use Varied Rhythmic Patterns
Use alternating rhythms; i.e., play your scales using the rhythm pattern of a dotted eighth note followed by a 16th note. Then switch to the rhythm pattern of a 16th note followed by a dotted eighth note. Then try an eighth note followed by two 16 notes. Then reverse that to two 16th notes followed by an eighth note.
Use Varying Accents
For each of the previous rhythm patterns, place an accent on the first note of each pattern. Then alternate the accent to fall on the second note of the rhythm pattern, creating a syncopated feel. Then, accent the third note of the rhythm pattern, and so on.
Try using a triplet rhythm pattern, placing an accent on the first note of each triplet pattern. Then accent the second note, then the third note of each triplet pattern as you play a four-octave scale.
Choose some of these varying rhythm patterns for your four-octave scale practice. Use a metronome at a very slow tempo and focus on very clearly articulating each of those accented notes within the rhythmic patterns with relaxed hand placement and curved finger-tips. As you get more fluent, speed up the tempo.
Another idea is to use the above rhythms and accents at the same tempo adding dynamics. For example, start your scale at fortissimo and as you play your scale going up the keyboard, decrescendo until you are playing pianissimo at the high range of the keyboard. Then reverse those dynamics.
Or play the entire ascending scale passage fortissimo then alternate when you descend by playing the entire descending scale passage at the dynamic level of pianissimo. Change the dynamic levels to whatever you’d like, incorporating crescendo, decrescendo, piano, mezzo piano, mezzo forte, forte, and so on.
For more practice tips, visit my Pinterest Piano Practice Tips board.
I’d love to hear from you. It means a lot to me that my content is helpful and empowers you. Please take a moment to join the conversation below to let me know if this blog is helpful to you, or if you have questions or suggestions!
If you’re a piano teacher, feel free to leave one of your favorite piano practice tips in the comment section!
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How Learning Piano Benefits Aging Adults
What To Do About Piano Practice When You Have An Injury
Learning To Be Creative
Listen to my original piano music here.
In my PIANO blogs, you'll find ways to overcome boredom, get past musical and mental blocks, explore the creative process with piano, and improve musical progress through piano teacher recommended best practices and effective piano practice tips.