by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Try these effective piano practice tips:
Your forearms should be parallel to the floor.
Your knees should be slightly under the keyboard so your arms and body are not too close to the keyboard.
You should sit on the front edge of your bench/stool with your feet flat on the ground.
This position allows room to reach the full keyboard range.
Check your body posture and sense any tension throughout the practice session.
Breathe and increase your awareness of how your body feels at the keyboard.
Too often, we get so wrapped up mentally that we ignore increased physical tension in our bodies, neck, back, legs, shoulders, arms, hands, wrists, and fingers.
Too often, we rush through at a speed that is too fast to listen and observe what we need to improve. Practicing slowly without hesitation is an effective practice strategy to master the musical elements you most need to improve.
Avoid playing too loudly or too softly.
Pay attention to each musical phrase to know which part of the music should be the focal point, and decrease everything else so that part becomes clear.
Often we overlook the markings in the notation that provide us the blueprint for accurate musical expression.
Mark the phrasings and articulations and single those out, section by section, until you have them memorized.
Aim to press each key solidly to the bottom of the keypad with a firm commitment–even in quieter music sections.
Watch out for flattening the finger joints.
Aim to press each key with the fingertip without collapsing the finger joints.
In most cases, aim for a curved finger and hand shape, relaxed as gently petting a kitten or puppy.
However, flattening the hand is sometimes best to keep a comfortable hand position when making larger interval stretches.
a. this provides the extra distraction of a performance practice (which will improve your focus for performances) and
b. you will find exactly what you need to improve by listening to your performance.
Hold yourself accountable by:
a. making a written schedule and TRACKING it with a piano practice tracker (get my Piano Practice Tracker by signing up here!) or
b. posting it in the New & Returning Piano Learners Facebook Group! (Our fabulous piano learning community where you'll get peer-to-peer support and feedback for your piano learning journey!)
If you struggle to maintain or establish your practice routine, ask yourself WHY you want to improve your piano playing.
Write down your reasons.
Place these reasons somewhere visible to remind yourself why piano playing is meaningful and inspire yourself to take action.
Drop a comment below telling us why you want to improve your piano playing!
Start Piano: What You Need For Successful Learning by Jenny Leigh Hodgins is a practical, down-to-earth, all-in-one resource and easy-to-read guide for anyone interested in starting or returning to piano lessons.
Get everything you need for a successful start, or return to the piano here!
Start Piano: What You Need For Successful Learning provides answers to those seeking a successful start or building steady momentum for piano progress.
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.