TIPS FOR STUDENTS:
1) If possible, play your exercises
before you go to your lesson and wear gloves on the way (if it's cold) to warm up your fingers.
2) It’s a good idea to eat and
drink something healthy before you play the piano, and midway through the lesson, for optimal
3) It takes awhile for the brain to
process a new psychomotor skill (such as playing an exercise with the correct
fingering and rhythm), so don’t expect to learn new techniques quickly. Practice
a new finger movement right before bed. Sleep helps the brain to consolidate new skills.
4) Sadly, most of the new
information you've learned is forgotten within 18-24 hours of the lesson. Therefore, your most
valuable practice sessions will be the evening of your lesson day, and the
following morning. Playing the piano after your lesson helps to embed new
concepts and skills into long-term memory.
5) When playing the
piano, take a short break every 15 minutes or so. Stretch, and take deep
breaths, to oxygenate the brain. You might want to keep a bowl of carrots or
nuts near by, and a closed water container on the floor (never on the piano!) Healthy
snacks and water awaken the brain.
6) Write down your
musical goals and note your progress in a journal. Compile a list of songs
and pieces you’d like to learn. If they are too difficult, your teacher can
help you find simplified arrangements. Maintain your focus and resolve. Think
about how great it will be when you can play your song all the way through! By
the end of Book 1, you will be able to play many songs. Take pride in your
accomplishments. Each new song you learn is a milestone!
7) Remember, short
daily piano sessions are much more effective than cramming just before your
next lesson. Start off playing for 10-15 minutes per day, 3-4 days per week. If you miss days here and there, don’t worry; even a
little practicing is better than none. You are taking lessons for the joy of
making music, and to keep growing and learning. No one ever feels that they
have practiced “enough,” so be patient with your self, and enjoy the
process. Learning an instrument is difficult, but you can do it; with time and
persistence, you will learn to play!