When I was little I used to watch Ducktales on Saturday mornings. Ducktales was a cartoon based on the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his constant pursuit of wealth. Scrooge McDuck was stubborn and miserable, but also wise and hardworking. His personal credo: work smarter, not harder!
Piano Students Can Learn a Lot From Scrooge McDuck
Mr. McDuck’s credo should be taped to the front of every piano student’s piano. That way, when they sit down they will be reminded that piano practice is all about quality, not quantity. Subconsciously banging away on the piano for exactly 20 minutes accomplishes nothing more than possibly acquiring a parent’s signature in a practice book. Which is great for prize acquisition… but not so great for skill development.
Piano Practice Is About Active Engagement
For piano practice to have any success at all, piano students must be actively engaged in their learning. Here are a few quick tips your students can use to ramp up the engagement factor:
1. Don’t practice what you know… practice what you don’t know. Encourage your students to identify difficult measures within their music and practice those measures first before playing through the piece.
2. Don’t always start at the beginning. Draw several new “starting points” on your music and begin from these starting points instead of the actual start. That way, the beginning of your piece won’t be the only section of the piece that is polished… as is often the case with students who always play from start to finish.
3. Practice when you are fresh and inspired! I’m all for practice routines, but sometimes routines can become, well… routine. This means your mind won’t be fresh or inspired. And that means your brain won’t be ready to learn.
4. Begin piano practice with a goal. Don’t just practice for the sake of practice. Instead, before you sit down at the piano to practice, say to yourself “Today, I’m really going to try to…”
5. Have fun! Piano practice doesn’t have to be all serious and “stuck up”. Put on a concert, wear a costume, sing along… enjoy yourself!
So, how do you make piano practice fun? With our newest product, “SHHHH… Your Piano Teacher Thinks This Is Practice”, of course! Today (May 2, 2012) is the last day to sign up for the Piano Practice Pre-Release list and receive $10 off the price of the book when it is released next week.