1. Play every day, even if it is for just a little while. If you don’t feel like practicing, just play.
2. Sit far enough away from the keys so that your elbows are in front of your torso, and your wrists are straight. Sit on the edge of the bench; you’ll sit straighter and avoid discomfort in your back, neck, and shoulders.
3. Warm your hands if they are cold.
4. Many adult students are more comfortable playing when no one is listening!
5. Learn short songs in a variety of styles; classical, pop, blues, jazz, etc. Learn a fun song that people would enjoy hearing at a party – have it ready to play at a moment’s notice. “Linus and Lucy” gets ‘em every time!
6. Try to learn something new about music every week. If you didn’t get to practice much, you can always learn something interesting at your lesson.
7. Try to play the whole song at the same speed, instead of speeding up the parts you play well and slowing down the harder parts. (In other words, sometimes you need to play slower than you can)
8. If you’re learning how to sight-read, fold up a sheet and cover your hands so you can focus on the music and learn the topography of the keys by touch.
9. Repeatedly listen to recordings of the songs you’re playing. Your ear will help guide you. You might gain some insight watching YouTube videos of amateurs playing your song.
10. If you’re just starting, don’t tackle a piece of music that is so long that it could take many months or a year to learn. Learn a few short pieces by composers or artists you like. Having even a simple short song perfectly memorized gives you terrific confidence!
11. Enjoy playing the songs you play well and don’t let them get rusty!
12. FOR KIDS ONLY: If you don’t feel like taking out the garbage, cleaning your room, putting away the dishes, or any other job, just start practicing piano. No one will ever make you stop practicing to do something else!
Written by Ken Schoenwetter