by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
🎹 I have exciting news for piano learners or those interested in playing piano! I have launched my first ebook,
What You Need To Know, Have & Do To Start Piano Right!
I’m excited to soon make this ebook available for purchase directly from my website! My ebook is the perfect gift for anyone interested in piano playing!
I created this valuable resource for those who:
My ebook is 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.
Want to know if this is the right book for you, your family, or a musical friend?
Let me clarify my new ebook's content with an excerpt from the introduction,
“Throughout my 30-year music and piano teaching career, I’ve been asked the same questions repeatedly by those interested in playing piano. Beginner to intermediate piano students have asked these same questions again and again.
Even advanced players, lacking a foundation of good practice habits, and frustrated with how to pierce through a plateau or further progress in piano, exhibited a need to learn piano practice basics. Many of these piano learners did not lack piano skill. They were stumped by repeated mistakes or by their inability to breakthrough musical barriers. They simply did not know how to practice piano effectively for consistent progress.
In my experience with teaching privately, in small groups, and classroom school music classes, all my students, and their parents or guardians had the same need for answers to these questions about successful piano learning. I’ve combined their biggest concerns and most recurring inquiries in this ebook.
As a pianist and composer of piano-based music, I know well the rich benefits and joy of piano playing. The issues piano learners face, and their desire to get started, return to, or keep pressing on to reap the rewards of piano progress, are what motivates me to provide this ebook. My intent is to help piano learners keep breaking through to new levels of piano performance.
Though I’ve written blogs on these topics, many have expressed continued interest in starting piano or more successful piano practice results. My goal in writing this ebook, as well as my upcoming (2nd) ebook, My Best Tips On How To Practice Piano Effectively, is to provide answers to these persistent questions in an organized, convenient way. I hope my books are helpful to those seeking successful or greater momentum for piano progress.
This ebook covers all the basics anyone needs to know about starting piano lessons, from how to find a quality instrument and piano method, to 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.
I hope this ebook provides the answers you seek, and helps you successfully begin or continue your musical journey with enjoyable, confident, forward-moving piano advancement.”
My new ebook will be the perfect holiday gift:
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MY EBOOK:
"What a great resource for potential piano parents to have."
~-Krista Schupbach, PIANO TEACHER
"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
"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
"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
What You Need To Know, Have & Do To Start Piano Right! 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 Start Piano With My Ebook, "What You Need To Know, Have & Do To Start Piano Right!" 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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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.