how to practice piano

6 Steps to Self-Regulated Practicing

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.

Using the Circle of Fifths to Practice Technique

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.

White-Out on Music? Why Not?

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! Use white-out to get rid of barlines. You'll be surprised at how well it works. Photo by R-M Arca.

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.

Music Practicing 101 - Alternating Hand/Bar Drill

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.

Music Practicing Podcasts

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.