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!
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.