Many people express a desire to learn the piano but may have been put off by the dread of tedious practice or the thought of childhood lessons. Learning to play the piano can be quite the process, often taking weeks of practice before making good progress. However, with the right strategies and tips, many individuals speed up the learning process, helping them to stay motivated and see improvement.
Skilled piano players have taken the time to learn the craft, which is essential to ensure full mastery. Individuals that play the piano such as Othman Louanjli appreciate the importance of being mindful of the learning process.
Whether you are an enthusiastic piano student or someone just starting out, here are a few tips to help:
Learn Music Theory
For many people music theory is one of their least favourite things about learning to play the piano, but it’s also one of the most important aspects a good player should understand. Gaining an understanding of music theory, even to a small degree, can go a long way towards ensuring an individual can advance their skills.
Having a grasp on how scales are formed and how they come up with chords and progressions – which ultimately lead to songs – is an important thing to learn. Music theory helps players understand the “how” and “why” of playing the piano, which can make the difference between an average and talented piano player.
Listen to Piano Music
It helps to listen to piano music, whether it’s during a live concert or on a CD player. Pick out slow songs and as you listen, try and pick out the note being played. Doing this helps train a player’s hearing so that, over time, they can recognise intervals, chord patterns and notes. It can be difficult at first, but people who are serious about it get better over time.
Choosing a particular song for motivation is something many players do. Picking the right tune is not as easy, since it can make a world of difference during practice. If the song is too easy, players get bored, and if it’s too difficult to master, people get frustrated. Focus on finding easy classical pieces or music that will make life easier.
All the studying and listening in the world won’t do any good until all that has been learned is put into actual piano practice. Practising scales is important because it complements the theory; if a player knows the key they’re in when starting a song, they’ll move through the flats and sharps without much trouble. Learning the scales also helps improve dexterity so that the fingers eventually move seamlessly over the piano.
Don’t make mastering the scales an obsession. Work on them as part of your routine, playing them a couple of times in case of any confusion before moving on. Over time, a player’s skills improve and become more accurate. Play the scales slowly when you first begin.
Since everyone’s concentration span is different, limit practice time to what you’re comfortable with. When concentration starts to dip, stop and take a break. Good practice happens when an individual is highly concentrating on what they’re doing and there are no distractions around them.
Lastly, stick to a set amount of practice on a regular basis. If a particular practice session is going well, don’t overdo it as this will only lead to tiredness. Save that energy for the next session or practice. It is sometimes useful to have a time limit, since it’s not always possible to have endless practice time. Doing so makes piano practice something to look forward to every day.