My Take on Proper Piano Practice
Throughout the years, I have fielded questions from my students about how long does one practice. Is 10 minutes enough? How about 30 minutes? Should I practice for an hour or two? How much practice is enough?
Regardless of the times, I believe that these three items are important when it comes to learning and improving on the piano:
Make sure you practice every day or if not, most days of the week. Limit your practice sessions to a duration that allows you to stay focused. This may be as little as 10 to 20 minutes for younger students. For older student/players? I would advocate for 45 to 60 minutes.
Feel free to take breaks in between if that helps you stay focused. For me personally, 15 minutes is the magic number. Even if you practiced only 15 min every day, you will see huge improvements over the course of the year.
When you sit down at the piano, be really aware that the time you spend there is mindful time, NOT MINDLESS TIME. While you go over your chords, scales, arpeggios, etc. try not to think about your shopping, to-do list, weekend plans, etc. Piano practice time is just that – everything PIANO.
One thing to keep track about the quality of your practice sessions is to record everything on your sheet music or keep a music diary. Use a pencil (or a pen if you prefer) to record fingerings, notes, discoveries or even reflections on the piece you are playing.
By the end of that session, you must able to tell someone or justify what exactly you need to improve on. If you can’t answer or if you feel that what you have is vague, you need to replan your sessions better next time.
One can’t expect to get better at anything if one doesn’t put in the necessary time and effort. That’s the bad news. The great news is that you just need small steps daily to create huge changes over time.
The trick is to make your daily piano practice a habit. Make it a non-negotiable routine, say like brushing your teeth. Don’t think about it as a chore or as an optional thing. Like what that famous sneakers say… JUST DO IT.
So that’s my answer to what proper piano practice should be. Whether it is as short as 15 minutes or over an hour, make sure you have all three of what I listed above to make sure you practice on the piano efficiently.
So, what are you waiting for? Go practice now!