Brandywine Music/Piano Studio

Piano Lessons, Music for Special Occasions





How Much Piano Practice is Required for Beginners?

You choose!

If you practice this much:

You may achieve this:

2 times a week for 20 minutes

Very slow to no progress

3 times a week for 20 minutes

Slow progress

4 times a week for 20 minutes

A little more progress.

5 times a week for 20 minutes or more

Moderate progress, this is pretty good.

6 times a week for 20 minutes or more

Good progress, this is great!

DAILY for 20 minutes or more

Excellent progress!  You're going places!

What are really good pianists doing as they progress

with several years of lessons?

6 times a week for 40-60 minutes

Intermediate level and skills - playing more difficult songs

DAILY for 1-2 hours

Advanced level and skills - playing just about anything you wish! Students in competitions or wanting to study music in college

DAILY for 5-6 HOURS a day

This is what PROFESSIONAL pianists do!

How Much Piano Practice is Required for

Intermediate Levels and Above?

You choose!

If you practice this much:

You may achieve this:

2 times a week for 20-30 minutes

Very slow to no progress

3 times a week for 20-30 minutes

Slow progress.

4 times a week for 30 minutes

Some progress, but you'll want to play better music, so try for 5 times!

5 times a week for 30 minutes or more

Moderate progress - this is pretty good!

6 times a week for 30-40 minutes or more

Good progress - this is great, if you keep your head in the game!

DAILY for 40-60 minutes or more

Excellent progress!  Keep your head in the game!

DAILY for 1-2 hours

Advanced level and skills - playing just about anything you wish! (Students in competitions or wanting to study music in college.)

DAILY for 5-6 HOURS a day

This is what PROFESSIONAL pianists do!

 

TAKE SMALL BREAKS DURING YOUR PRACTICE SESSIONS - STAND UP, STRETCH, GET A DRINK OF WATER - OR SPLIT DAILY PRACTICE UP INTO TWO SESSIONS.

 

“Practice with your fingers and you need all day. Practice with your mind and you will do as much in 1 1/2 hours.” ~ Leopold Auer

Deliberate Practice is practicing with your Brain, not just your Fingers! 

Put "piano practice" on your daily schedule.  Practice without distractions!  No TV, other noise, no gum in your mouth,  or siblings interrupting you. 

Always warm up your fingers with scales, arpeggios, chords or whatever your teacher has assigned for a warm up; then move on to your assigned pieces....

 Play slowly; repeat small and specific sections.

 Do not just play from beginning to end.

 Pay attention to what your teacher wrote on your music!  Look at and study any notes written in, fingerings, things that are highlighted, etc.

 Note where and when mistakes occur  - how can you fix them?  Circle them if you need help at your next lesson.

 "Cut out" hard spots and work ‘em to death, then back up a bit and paste them back in.

 Keep your head in the game.

 Engage your ear!  Listen to the music you are producing.  Is it beautiful?

 Keep practice sessions limited to a duration that allows you to stay focused. This may be as short as 10-20 minutes for younger students, and as long as 45-60 minutes for older individuals. 

© Chrisanne Holm 2015

 

 

Piano Practice Plan – A Multi-Course Dinner

           Appetizers – fire up those taste buds!

Ø Play scales, chords or warmups, if assigned, 2 or 3 times correctly.

Play slowly enough to play correctly, evenly, and fluently.

Ø Play a review piece, focusing on a point to improve. For example, if notes, fingering and rhythm are correct, work on dynamics, phrasing, etc.

Ø Listen to a recording of your current working piece.

Suzuki: Use the slow, separate-hand recording (Vol. 1 – 3)

Pronto: Use recording on website

 Main Dishes – the “meaty” stuff!

Ø Play working section(s) of current piece several times correctly, focusing on challenging point(s). Play slowly enough to play correctly, evenly, and fluently.

Ø Play previously learned sections of current piece a few times correctly.

Play hands separately if necessary.

Side Dishes – add a little spice!

Ø Play sightreading or supplementary piece(s) several times correctly,

focusing on challenging spots.

Dessert – celebrate with something “sweet”!

Ø Play one or more review pieces, focusing on a point to improve.

Ø Play some relaxing improvisation, or sound out a pop song by ear.

Tasty Tips:

Ø If recurring mistakes occur, isolate that section, separate hands if necessary, and play several times correctly. Make sections small enough to play correctly. Look for reasons for mistakes, such as tricky fingerings and accidentals. Play as slowly as you need to, to play correctly (notes, rhythm, and fingering), evenly, and fluently.

Ø When a section is consistently correct, focus on playing with expression – dynamics, phrasing, articulation (ex.: staccato).

Ø When a piece is securely in your muscle memory (playing becomes automatic), then you will be freed up to make the music your own, express yourself, and really enjoy playing!  Bon appetit