by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
As a result of making repeated mistakes during piano practice sessions, many beginners to intermediate piano students experience frustration, beat themselves up, or even altogether quit piano. Don't do that! Read on to learn how to transform your piano mistakes into beautiful music...
MISTAKES ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY
But mistakes are not your enemy! Mistakes are one of the most helpful parts of learning! Your mistakes at the piano communicate to you that there is something you need to address.
Mistakes are your guide to learning how to practice the exact thing you need to improve. This specificity leads directly to your breakthrough to a new level of piano progress!
How To Transform Your Piano Mistakes Into Beautiful Music
If you are making the same mistakes over and over, the first thing to do is stop. Continuing to play the same mistakes will ingrain them into your muscle memory and your brain. So, stop practicing mistakes!
2. GO SLOW
Slow your practice to find the root of your mistakes. For beginners (though this still applies to intermediate and advanced players), the root issue of repetitive problems is usually practicing at a tempo that is too fast to control physically or mentally.
Either you play too fast to think about what you need to concentrate on. Or, you play too fast for your muscles to keep up. Often the problem is solved by simply practicing at a slower tempo.
3. GET TO THE ROOT
But sometimes, slowing down allows you to discover the real root of the problem. When you play slow enough, you free yourself to focus both physically and intellectually. Once you provide yourself with the mental and physical space to use this kind of concentration, you start revealing underlying issues.
For example, you may realize you have the wrong fingering or tension in your fingers, hands, arms, shoulders, or neck. You may discover you struggle with reading the notes on the page or are unclear about the rhythm in a passage.
4. PRACTICE THE TROUBLE ISSUE
Once you discover your specific problem, isolate that issue. Practice with that one goal in mind.
Evaluate your success. Do it again. If you can play something correctly three times in a row, choose the next issue and repeat this same practice routine.
5. EMBRACE *BEGINNER’S MIND*
Having a *beginner’s mind* is the best mindset! What is it about a beginner’s mindset that aids piano practice? Beginners want to learn and improve and are not impeded by their ego!
Beginners are led primarily by their curiosity. Beginners experiment. They question what went wrong. They wonder what comes next.
When you approach learning piano with a beginner's mind, you allow your ego to fall away. The inner critic or resistance that most adults battle is something that a beginner’s mind doesn’t have.
A beginner focuses on their journey from yesterday to today and from today to tomorrow. Beginners don’t compare themselves to where others are in the journey. They just tackle what’s right in front of them.
🎹Embrace your piano practice and celebrate your interest in improving at the piano!
🐣Adopt a beginner’s mind.
🐢 Take it slow enough to fully focus.
🥰 🎯 Forge a new appreciation for how your mistakes point out the direct pathway for your development as a piano player!
Let me know if this was helpful for you. Drop me a message or leave a comment to let me know what you most struggle with in your piano learning. If you are an advanced pianist or a piano teacher, share one of your favorite piano tips!
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Through my years as a pianist and piano teacher, I met so many people looking to start piano lessons for themselves, a friend, or a child, but didn’t know how to start or even what basics are truly essential for successful piano education.
After my piano or vocal/piano performances, I met many adults who expressed that they were so intimidated by various perceived obstacles to learning piano that they wanted to give up—even though they really want to play the piano!
I’m not saying that some things available online or elsewhere aren’t offering any value. Sure, it’s nice to learn a few tricks!
But the truth is that these gimmicks or tricks for fast piano learning don’t work in the long run—or at least not as a foundation—for those who want to be successful at playing piano and continue musical progress.
My ebook, "Start Piano: What You Need For Successful Learning!", is meant to dispel the myth—that piano-playing happens with a fast, easy trick or gimmick—through straight-talk from someone who has taught and played piano for 30 years. But my ebook also offers answers to every question or doubt new or returning piano learners may have about starting piano lessons.
I no longer offer one-on-one piano teaching. But I offer value to those who want to learn piano for themselves, get a child started with piano lessons, or introduce a friend to the piano. I provide clear answers to common questions from new and returning piano learners through my online content and ebook, "Start Piano: What You Need For Successful Learning!"
I also have a new Facebook Group, For New & Returning Piano Learners, my second upcoming ebook, and courses on what you need for successful piano-learning and effective practice piano.
(You can share this with a friend or join TEAM YCC here to be the first to know about my upcoming ebooks, courses, plus more empowering strategies for nurturing creativity and inspiration!)
Over the years, many people asked me all the questions featured in my new ebook! I’ve already written several blogs answering a lot of those questions from new or returning piano learners.
But I decided to offer an all-in-one, easy-to-read resource where those interested in starting piano lessons can find all the answers to their questions about how to successfully begin and forge a strong foundation for continued piano progress.
For anyone interested in exploring piano learning, this is THE ebook that gives you everything you need to get started learning piano right.
‘Right’ means with the confidence that you’ve got the right teacher, method, instrument, setup, routine, advice, age, and anything else needed for a successful start to piano-learning!
As with all the adult piano students I’ve taught over 30 years as a piano and music teacher, you can learn piano and enjoy all the benefits of piano study that they did!
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.