Piano Pedals – What They Do

Piano Pedals - What They Do

Finally, they evolved into the foot pedals we know of today. It’s important to understand not only when to use the pedals, but also how they physically work. Once you understand how the pedals affect the sound of the piano, understanding when to use them will come more naturally. Damper Pedal or Sustain Pedal By far the most used pedal is the damper pedal. It is often also called the “sustain pedal”. I prefer to call it the damper pedal …

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Perfect Pitch Is Not A Curse

Perfect Pitch Is Not A Curse

Perfect pitch, also called absolute pitch, is the ability to identify or sing a note without any reference. That’s the definition, but there is a lot more to it than that. Perfect pitch is often misunderstood. There’s a common misconception in the musical community that perfect pitch is not only unimportant, but actually bad to have. In order to understand exactly what it is and if there is even a need for it, we need to have a very clear …

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8 Things to Do When Your Child Loses Interest in Music Lessons

8 Things to Do When Your Child Loses Interest in Music Lessons

You’ve spent a small fortune on music lessons for your child, but they seem totally uninterested. It happens. There are things you can do that will help them continue with lessons though, so don’t give up yet!  The worst thing you can do is throw in the towel at the first sign that your child isn’t enjoying the lessons. By letting them quit, you’re teaching them that as soon as life gets difficult, boring, or uninteresting it’s okay to just …

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How to Set Musical Goals

How to Set Musical Goals

Research has shown over and over that people who set goals are typically the most successful. These people accomplish more than their non goal setting counterparts, and they tend to report being happier. If this is the case, you think everyone would be jumping over themselves to set goals for their lives. The problem is, few people set goals and even fewer keep them. Only 8% of people who set new year’s resolutions actually keep them. Write Down Your Goals …

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Practicing Small Groups For Technique

Practicing Small Groups For Technique

Technique is often the most practiced skill for young musicians. Many musicians practice it inefficiently, though, which can lead to frustration. Often heard complaints in the practice room include “Why can’t I get this passage up to speed?” or “I can never seem to play this section without mistakes.” These complaints can be largely resolved by practicing small groups of notes at a time. This way of practicing is not often taught to students, but it can resolve just about …

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How to Become A Phenomenal Sight Reader

How to Become A Phenomenal Sight Reader

Sight-reading is an important skill that every musician needs. It may be one of your most marketable skills as a musician. In the real world, unless you are a concert musician, you often don’t have a lot of time to learn a piece of music. Studio musicians, accompanists, church musicians, each one of them needs to do a healthy amount of sight reading in their daily jobs. Like all other musical skills, sight reading is learned. That’s not to say …

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How Long Should You Practice Each Day

How Long Should You Practice Each Day

Consistency Music is not learned in a day. Practicing many hours one day does not make up for missed practice on other days. Most learning is done while you sleep. There have been many studies that have found that a night of sleep can trigger significant performance improvements to a motor skill. The More Difficult the Skill the More Important Sleep Is One particular study tested participants on finger-tapping exercises. They found groups that did simple patterns with one hand …

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What Will Actually Help Your Performance Anxiety

What Will Actually Help Your Performance Anxiety

I can give public speeches, perform in groups, and give many other kinds of public performances, but a solo piano performance has always been something I’ve struggled with. When I started out in music I was a little nervous about letting people know that I was afraid to perform.  I wanted to keep it to myself. It’s embarrassing. No one else has to deal with this. Or so I thought. Through the years I’ve learned that just about everyone has …

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How to Stop Sweaty Musician Hands

How to Stop Sweaty Musician Hands

I have an embarrassing confession to make. My hands sweat. They sweat a lot. They sweat more when I’m performing, but it can even make practice difficult. The more I think about it the more they sweat. I’m a pianist, and trying to stay on the keys and play accurately is next to impossible when I have hands that are literally dripping in sweat. It’s been years since I had to worry about this though because I’ve found some techniques …

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How to Stay Focused While Practicing

How to Stay Focused While Practicing

Anyone who has spent any time practicing an instrument is familiar with the feeling of not getting anything done. This doesn’t have to apply only to music practice. You can be working on a task, but never actually get anywhere. Real progress comes from daily focused attention and deliberate practice. If we are to get better at doing something, in this case music, we can’t just say “I touched my instrument today, so I did my part.” You won’t learn …

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