Many times we get so focused on the sound that we want and the desire to get to the point where we can play our piece and just enjoy hearing it, that we ignore the signals our body is trying to tell us when something is not quite right with our technique. Sometimes the technique
Every human has feelings to a certain degree or another. Most of us understand the display of feeling in others, and so when we encounter music - which is a means of depicting emotion through sound - we “get it”. However, being able to get that emotion to come out of our fingers or
The process of dealing with Performance Anxiety needs to contain some healthy doses of perspective and self-reflection. Ask yourself questions like: Why am I doing this? Is there really anything at stake other than my pride? Am I afraid of disappointing a teacher (either real or imagined pressure)? Am I trying to prove to
Practice S-L-O-W-L-Y I can’t stress this enough. I even typed it slowly for emphasis. Most people who have studied some piano are aware of the concept of slow practice, but many do not employ this technique to its fullest potential. You may even be wondering why this would be a part of Creative Practicing that is supposed
There's an inner battle we have with ourselves that can make even the most prepared person fall apart on stage. Having the right outlook on things can make all the difference in the world between success and failure when performing. In Part 2, I wrote about physical things you can do to help prepare
In Part 2 of How to Practice Creatively, I talked about Focused Practice sessions where you pinpoint the problem areas and work only on those, with a play-through of the entire piece as close to tempo as possible every 2-3 days. This intentional kind of practice is one way to keep the mind engaged and
Having taught many students over the years, I’ve seen various levels of readiness to perform. I would say most students did what they thought was preparing and working hard, but what I’ve learned over the years observing myself and others is that there’s always more one can do. This means that it’s a process
In Part 1 of How to Practice Creatively, I spoke about blind repetition inducing a phenomenon in the brain called "masking," whereby the brain doesn't pay attention to a repeated, predictable event like a clock ticking or a whirring of a fan after it knows that event will continue as before. So the "cure"
Playing for your piano teacher at lessons. Playing in a formal recital. Playing at a nursing home. Playing for friends gathered around the piano to hear you play once they found out you were learning piano. Taking piano exams. Playing at a competition. Auditioning for college. Recording yourself for an online submission recital or
Most adults who take up piano have an image of what it means to practice piano that often involves spending hours of pure enjoyment listening to themselves play beautiful music. Then they sit down at their first or maybe even 10th practice session and realize that it's actually quite far from what they imagined.