by Ellen Bartolozzi, Bella Angel Music
♪♪Slow and in control…
One of the most important things to remember when learning new material is to play / count slowly! Playing too fast will cause frustration and may even cause errors to “stick” with you. It is much more productive to learn less correctly than to learn lots incorrectly!
♪♪Repeat, repeat, repeat…
Each song is different. Remember that some songs take longer than others to learn and it is supposed to take several attempts to learn new material. Once you have initially gone through a new song, repeat it several times. If you find that you are having difficulty with certain passages of the song, then you need to isolate those areas. See next “tip.”
Isolate any difficult passages. “Break down” each passage by first playing hands separately, and then together.
Now you should incorporate the passage with its respective preceding and following measure.
Now try playing the entire song.
♪♪How much time should I devote each day to my passion?
Everyone learns differently. For some, 60 minutes is effective. For others, less (or more) is needed. Some people opt to devote time to the piano several times a day…others study for one “longer” session.
What is important here is to realize that the more you play, the better you will become.
Each song / exercise you play is building your strength as a pianist.
♪♪ “Practice” vs. “Performance”...
Practice Mode: You are playing slowly, correcting mistakes when you make them, isolating trouble spots, etc. This is your time to get comfortable with a song and learn it well.
Performance Mode: This is when you are truly playing the piano. Let’s face it, you love music and this is why you have decided to become a pianist. When performing, if you make a mistake (and we ALL do), you need to just keep playing. Play through your mistakes! Do not draw attention to your mistake, whether visually, verbally, or by what you play. You can be alone and performing for yourself. You can be playing a song for others to hear. The point is that you are training yourself to play through your mistakes!!!
Bella Angel Music © 2010