Bad habits can be a little too easy to pick up while playing the piano. Despite your efforts, it seems that none of us are able to avoid picking up a few. A crucial element to combat practicing a piano faux pas is to enroll in piano lessons in Houston. During lessons, your teacher will regularly work on technique, musicality, and performance practices with you. Whether you’re new to the instrument or have been playing for years, here’s some of the most common piano infractions and how to avoid them.
Practicing Without A Goal
Many of us start practicing by simply sitting down at the piano and playing. A beginner might play through their piece a few times and be done for the day. A more experienced player may play through some scales/etudes and work on that tricky section in their piece that never seems to get much better. Regardless of playing ability, practicing without a specific goal leaves you feeling unaccomplished and uninspired by the end of the session. Before every practice session, give yourself at least one small, achievable goal that can be accomplished that day. Even small goals can equal big results! Each goal is a stepping stone to your next practice session and you will continue to gain momentum. It may feel tedious at first, but you’ll find that as you continue to set goals your practice sessions become much more productive and fulfilling.
Practicing With Poor Posture
Posture affects every aspect of how we play. It is also one of the easiest things to forget while practicing. Think of it as building a house. Without a solid foundation everything is bound to tumble. It might not be immediately, but eventually cracks will start to show and that foundation will be much more difficult to fix after years of instability. During your first couple years of piano lessons, it is paramount that you always approach the keys sitting tall, with curved fingers, and using proper fingerings. With the basics mastered, you will be able to focus on more complicated ideas and your music will flourish.
Playing too fast
Slow practice is something I, as a Houston piano teacher, preach almost daily. If you are unable to play something with flawless ease, slow it down. Many of us fall into the trap of playing too fast when we are beginners and when we are in the early stages of eagerly learning a new piece. The most efficient way to practice is to start slowly. Gradually increase tempo once you can play something confidently without mistakes. It is also tempting to play through a piece at the performance tempo except for difficult sections. This is confusing to the brain as you are actively practicing how to play a piece with inconsistent speeds. Remember every time you play you are forming connections to the brain and developing your muscle memory for better or for worse. Practicing slowly takes a bit of patience at first, but will form lasting and infallible connections.
Forgetting the music
No, I don’t mean forgetting to grab your sheet music. I mean forgetting that we are playing the piano to make music. It is so easy to be consumed by perfectly executing a certain fingering or rhythm that the actual music becomes stale and robotic. Especially when working on technique, it is crucial to alway be asking yourself why. Why are certain notes slurred and others staccato? Why are the dynamics written a certain way? If you’re able to answer these types of questions but still aren’t satisfied, sing! Singing is the first and most intuitive way we make music. Although you probably won’t be able to sing the full range of a piano, you will be able to discover different characters and their natural ebb and flow without the burden of the keys under your fingers.
If you’re looking for a teacher to help you overcome your bad music habits or avoid them all together, it might be time to get music lessons. At Lessons In Your Home, All of our instructors are professional musicians and gifted instructors. They will come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. Our online music lessons are being taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child! Contact us today to learn more. Contact us today to find an instructor near you.
By Tracy Gibler