The beginning of a year is not the only time to make resolutions, set goals or create wish lists. No matter when you read this article… regardless of the current time of year, you can set your personal goal NOW.
With this in mind, I’ve put together some tips that you can also do NOW to take your piano playing to a new level this year.
Tip 1: Choose a time and stick to it!
This means that you choose a time and practice EVERY DAY – whether it’s raining, snowing or the sun shining… practice every day at the same time!
This is also no coincidence. Studies show that something magical can happen if you carefully plan a routine activity and do it at almost the same time every day. You make this activity a habit, a part of your everyday life. Once started and implemented as a habit, you will probably never want to live without it again. You can also read Piano Techniques To Steal From Famous Pianists for more informations.
It’s just like brushing your teeth every day after getting up. Why don’t you get up 15 minutes earlier and practice playing the piano for 15 minutes every morning? That would be more than 90 hours a year. You can already work well with it.
So, the best thing you can do for yourself in this new year is to choose a time span for EVERY DAY that you dedicate to your piano playing. And stick to it. In the course of time you will get so used to the daily activity that it will feel strange not to do it.
And, what soll´s, don’t stop there. Plan your exercises, your time for reading, your time for family, for yoga, etc. with the same attitude. It helps.
Tip 2: Find a fellow musician!
A guy named Napoleon Hill created the term “Mastermind” in 1937. It is extremely important to work together with like-minded people who have the same desires and hopes. The point is: Two or more heads together are definitely stronger than each one individually.Besides, it’s a lot of fun to make music with other people. It’s like a coffee klatch with fantastic contents of the conversations.
So find people, musicians (singers, guitarists, drummers, violinists,… whatever) to meet you regularly with them and observe synergies at work.
Tip 3: Teach what you know!
Being a teacher doesn’t mean that you have to know everything, it just means that you have to know more about the subject than those you teach (and to be honest, some teachers don’t even meet this requirement). Be honest and stay responsible. That is the only rule. If you don’t know something, tell your student openly. Where you can help him, help! So, even if you have learned the major and minor scales first with my tips, then teach it to someone who might find it useful who doesn’t know it yet.
When it comes to how much information we store through research, various activities offer amazing results. That is, if you just read something, you will be able to remember 10% of it. When you perform something, it can be up to 30%. If you practice doing something (that’s why it’s so important), the receptivity is 75%!
If you teach something, you save 90% of it!
So teaching is more promising for the teacher than for the student. A student would only remember 5% of what you teach him, but a teacher would remember 90% of what he or she teaches. Ok, and I admit it: Before I produced the tutorial, I couldn’t play the difficult part of the piece “Für Elise” perfectly by heart.
The cool thing is that we are all teachers as well as students. If you have children, don’t tell me you’re not a teacher! Because you are!
Tip 4: Expand your library
If you want it to sound better, you have to listen to better things.With the current advances in technology, there’s no music form or genre you can’t get. YouTube alone has millions of files. iTunes is another source. I remember a quote: “You’re the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most”
I think it refers to other areas of life. But I think that your musical style and your creativity is also an average of what you listen to.
Just as everything that goes up has to come down again, everything that goes IN (into your system/your head) has to come out again.
Find out which of your favorite genres you’ve chosen are your favorites (no matter what time they came from), make lists, find the recordings and take some time to listen to them.
Tip 5: Master your heaviest and most complex song in all 12 keys
And I’ll tell you something: It sounds like an exercise that every musician does. But you’ll be surprised how many “mature” musicians haven’t taken the time to learn to play their most complex songs in all 12 keys. I mean the same in all 12 keys, which means that if you can play something perfectly in D flat major, then it should sound the same in A.
If you’re not a 12 key player, this one exercise will revolutionize your piano playing. The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s not as difficult as you thought it would be. Second, you will find the same chords in different keys… only in different “roles” and this connection will be priceless for you. Thirdly, you will not be afraid of the transition to a “REAL” piano (fear that you may not be able to play the chosen keys). You will be prepared.