Hello! I’m Genene Edwards and this is the first Blog for my Piano Rascal website.
I will give you musical tips about learning piano as a beginner or intermediate pianist that aims to help you become a great musician!
I wish I knew then what I know now!
My piano teacher never told me HOW to practice piano when I was learning many years ago. I just got on with it and fumbled my way through many challenging hours. It never occurred to me that HOW I was practicing may have been blocking some of my progress and musical skill. But it was! Luckily I had enough natural talent to get me through all my ABRSM grades and into Trinity College of Music in London.
But had I been taught how to practice properly from the start, it would have made life easier and progress quicker.
An essential piano practice tip
As an experienced piano teacher now, I make sure my students don’t struggle with the same inefficient piano practice habits as I had. From the word go, they learn the importance of productive piano practice. Some come to me with years of poor practice behind them, but I gradually introduce new methods. It’s amazing to see their progress and musicianship fly!
There is so much to say on this subject. I will be publishing a book about it in 2022 that explains how to revolutionise your piano practice!
For now, I can give a few tips and hope it helps.
The magic of muscle memory
Work with your body. We naturally have the ability to develop muscle memory. Most skills involve developing this – from dancing to playing a musical instrument.
When you start working on a piece of piano music, work out the best fingers to use. Write the important ones in. Always stick to these to develop muscle memory. Be patient with your fingers. Allow them time to learn new music SLOWLY. If you practice too quickly, mistakes will creep in and then you will be repeating your mistakes – and getting good at playing them. As fingers have muscle memory, these mistakes are hard to undo.
BUT – If you repeat a difficult passage perfectly many times, over many practices, it eventually becomes easy. This is because your fingers are now playing it with their own muscle memory – and playing seems effortless.
Work out the best fingers for your piece and always stick to them
This creates muscle memory
Practice slowly with many repetitions over a few days or weeks
Only speed up once your fingers have developed 100% muscle memory