Question: The children don't know how to practice their songs. Can you help?
Yes, thanks for asking this frequent question that is so common with many households.
I have written at least three articles on the subject. So, without copying and pasting all the information here in this blog post, I thought I'd share the links with you to look at in your free time.
I hope they will be helpful in your discipline as an artist to visit the piano each day and make the most of your piano lessons at home.
In 2005 I wrote: How To Practice The Piano In Five Easy Steps
In 20011 I wrote: Practice Tips
In 2015 I wrote: 10 Quick Tips About Piano Practice
I decided to share the latest one with those in the beginner's corner.
1. Practice warm-ups first. When your hands are warmed-up properly, you will be able to approach a new song with greater ease and with less mistakes. Lack of tension produces more beautiful tones. Use scales and finger exercises for your warm-up. Always use curved fingers.
2. Practice slowly. Your brain cannot retain music information in detail when you play fast. It is necessary to play slowly and carefully at all times. Don't push your speed. Take it slow and steady. Play each warm-up slowly at first. When you can play smoothly and evenly you may gradually increase speed.
3. Practice short passages. Each day practice just one passage, and practice it very carefully and thoroughly. In the long run, this makes for a better practice session. When you have a short piece or song to work on, you will not feel overwhelmed.
4. Practice at the same time. First thing in the morning you are refreshed and ready to go. For others, school and homework come first. Follow up with a practice session in the afternoon or early evening.
5. Practice chart. A practice chart or journal is a record of your practice sessions, including what you practice and for how long. At the end of each practice session, write down exactly which piece you studied and the number of minutes spent on it. Make a specific list, set goals and try to meet them. Check each goal as you complete it. Make practicing a game or challenge.
6. Practice with correct fingering. Learn a song with the sequence of notes stepping up and down the keyboard. Learn the form of the movements to play the piece comfortably. Learn to be fluent in responding to finger numbers. If you are consistent with your fingering, you will be very secure and confident when playing in front of others. I can't emphasize good posture enough because it makes playing easier and enjoyable.
7. Practice right where you left off when you made a mistake. Students always start from the beginning of a song. They become very good at playing the beginning of a piece, but tend to be less proficient towards the end. Start over at the measure where you hit the wrong note.
"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King
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