Piano Practice TipsUncategorized

Good Players Spend Time on the Bench

Lang Lang as an example of focus and discipline

Learning to play the piano involves working with focus and discipline.  Much of the time this work is fun and enjoyable. To illustrate, one of my adult students said learning a piece is like solving a puzzle. In the beginning, it seems difficult but as I practice it becomes easier. When I finally learn to play the piece, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. In my own experience, there have been times when I sit down in the morning to practice and I lose myself in the music. Then, when I check the clock, I realize I have missed lunch.

However, there are times when this work is not so fun and enjoyable. Working through a difficult passage can be frustrating and requires perseverance and patience. This is where discipline comes in. Discipline requires you to do it even if you don't want to. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.  This can be challenging in today's world where we are constantly distracted by technology and we expect immediate gratification.


Eliminate Distractions and Focus

I will make a suggestion and please stop me if you’ve heard this one before. You log onto Facebook and it sucks you into a vortex of kitties on Roombas and invites to play Candy Crush. Before you know it, you’ve spent an hour on the site. It’s visual crack, people. I like oohing and aahing over photos of delicious food as much as the next person, but you’ve got to shake off the fog and focus. When you practice, don't just silence, power down devices like your smartphone and laptop.


You are the Boss

You are in charge of your ideas and can make the inspiration happen. In the words of Tchaikovsky "I am at my desk each morning at 8:00 am and my muse has learned to be prompt."

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