Not sure exactly how to warm up before practicing piano? Check out Robert Estrin's video and my series of musician stretches.
According to super-cool professor Dr. John Picone, there are six steps to self-regulated practicing. Master these and you will learn your music quickly and efficiently.
How well do you know your pieces? Try the Random Spot Drill to check.
This popped into my head while I was teaching a lesson last week. I asked my student to play her Grade 8 piano technique by going through the Circle of Fifths. Not only was it quickly evident that my student needs to review her key signatures, but it also was clear that she was used to practicing her technique in a certain order. However, during a music examination, you have no clue which of the required technical elements you will be asked to play. It is important to mix things up regularly.
In this piano lesson tutorial, I demonstrate what how my student practiced her piano technique using the Circle of Fifths approach.
This is a nifty tip I learned from my colleague, RCM examiner Colleen Athparia: If you keep coming to a dead halt at the barline, get rid of the barlines!
I've tried this with a few students recently with songs in triple meter, or in the above case, in 6/8 time. It works like a charm!
Of course, you want to make sure that you know your rhythms and time signature well. This is best used when you are trying to get the music flowing.
My students and I started playing around with this practice drill last week. It's an accuracy drill to clean up notes, fingering and wonky timing. Try playing the left hand alone in bar 1 and then right hand alone in bar 2, etc. Check out this video for a demonstration.
This week, I've taught "The Art of Practicing" at a few music group classes at my studio and my brother's. We have such a wide variety of learners. I promised the aural learners that I would find some music lesson podcasts for them. Here are some: Conklin Studios - Video Blog and podcasts The Piano Podcast - with Mario Ajero BBC's Music Workshop Podcasts e-learning Music Podcasts These are full of tips on how to practice as well as how parents can the music student in their family.
Happy listening and learning.