Practicing and Playing Are Not The Same Thing

Practicing and Playing Are Not The Same Thing

Do you sit down and practice your instrument, or do you just play it? Growing up, I don’t know if I knew that there was much of a difference. Practicing just meant that I was making music, or at least sound, on my instrument. Somehow I will get better. Right? Both practicing and playing music have their place, but if you want to get better quickly, practicing is where you should spend most of your time. What Does it Mean …

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Find and Use Patterns to Accelerate Your learning

Find and Use Patterns to Accelerate Your learning

Music is made up almost entirely of patterns. Patterns can be defined as notes that are organized in a predictable manner. If you are able to find these patterns in music, you can often predict what is coming next. Understanding patterns can also help in learning and memorizing a piece much faster. Many students of music understand that patterns exist, but they fail to use them to learn their music, instead of relying on learning one note at a time. …

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Why You Should Be Teaching Your Piano Students By Rote

Why You Should Be Teaching Your Piano Students By Rote

If you play the piano, or if you’re a teacher, you’ve likely been taught in the classical tradition. You predominantly learned to read music. By reading music, you translate the notes on the page into music on the piano. That’s the only way that I was taught to play the piano. I was never taught to improvise or play by ear.  It’s a different skill set. Most often these skills are not found in classical pianists. Does that mean they …

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Learning Your Scales and Arpeggios

Learning Your Scales and Arpeggios

Learning technique for your instrument is often one of the most boring things you can practice. People tend to avoid practicing their technical exercises. For the most part, that may not be a terrible thing. There are usually better ways to spend your time practicing than working on unmusical technical exercises all day. There are two important exceptions to that though. Those exceptions are scales and arpeggios What Are Scales? A scale is simply an ordered set of notes. Most …

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Practice Effectively and Gain Hours of Practice Time

Practice Effectively and Gain Hours of Practice Time

Serious musicians can practice for 4 or more hours every day. The idea is that if you practice more, you’ll progress faster. It makes logical sense. If you practice for 4 hours, you will progress 4 times faster than the person who is only practicing one hour. It doesn’t always work that way though. The musician that practices for 1 hour efficiently, can easily learn more than a musician that practices for 4 hours inefficiently. Can you learn how to …

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14 Of The Most Common Beginner Mistakes While Learning Piano

14 Of The Most Common Beginner Mistakes While Learning Piano

If you just started learning piano, or your child is getting lessons for the first time, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes that beginner pianists make. Most of the time students progress much slower than they need to because they are making mistakes that misuse their precious time. Don’t be one of those people. 1. Playing Too Fast This is definitely the number one problem among new and young pianists. Playing the piano isn’t a race. The reason …

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The Evolution of the Piano and How It Will Change Your Playing

The Evolution of the Piano and How It Will Change Your Playing

Our modern piano has a very rich history. Classical pianists regularly play music that was written for an instrument other than the modern piano they play it on. In recent decades there has been a movement to play music on what are called “period” instruments. This means that performers play classical music on instruments that were more like the instruments that the composers actually wrote the music for. Understanding that our modern instruments are different from the instruments composers wrote …

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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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