Are you struggling to find time for effective piano practice or feeling overwhelmed by complex musical pieces? In our latest YouTube Live session, I delve into transformative techniques designed to make your practice time more efficient, whether you’re a busy hobbyist or a student navigating intricate compositions.
Key Insights from the Video:
Practice Time vs Efficient Practicing: Learn how to maximize your practice time, turning any project or assignment around in the most efficient way possible. Discover the art of getting one hour of work done in just 10 minutes.
Techniques for Efficiency: Break free from the habit of playing what’s comfortable. Embrace the challenge of the unfamiliar, starting each practice session with what needs the most attention.
Maximizing Limited Time: Explore the power of micro practice sessions. Utilize each moment you walk by the piano to play something new for just 2 minutes, stacking sessions for consistent improvement.
Insights for Advanced Students: Elevate your practice with focused repetitions, emulating the pressure of a live performance. Gain inspiration from concert artist Pamela Mack, who utilizes similar efficiency techniques.
Recap: You don’t need large chunks of time to practice effectively. Let shorter sessions add up, and witness the cumulative power of consistent, focused practice.
Discover how to revolutionize your practice routine, no matter your skill level or time constraints. Subscribe for more insights into efficient piano practice.
The last several weeks and upcoming weeks (and possibly much more) have put a huge strain on the world. Everyone is rightly concerned about staying healthy, staying employed, staying sane while managing this unprecedented time we find ourselves in.
Several of my students and friends who depend on being creative for their livelihoods have been struggling with getting into the space required to create their art. This is very stressful when you can’t get in the right frame of mind despite having all the time and space in the world to create or continue new works. » Read more
Practicing and performing should not be that different from each other when it comes to our musical approach. I believe that standards for energy, emotion, execution and creativity shouldn’t change that much between our practice room repetitions and the stage. If someone were to eavesdrop on a practice sessions, they should feel like they’re hearing us perform. However, they shouldn’t hear us sounding perfect or even good.
After the post last week about recovering from bad performances, several folks have asked for more information and specifics in regards to the approaches I mentioned. This post will be part of a series on methods we can use to treat each practice session and/or rehearsal as a performance – hopefully making each performance less tense and more rewarding in the process.
Poor performances can send shock waves through our system. Any of us who have played music for a long time can probably share multiple horror stories in regards to performances. The culprits range from things outside of our control to things we are directly responsible for. Either way, it usually feels horrible.
The final post in this memorization series is about learning large chunks of music or big pieces/programs quickly and efficiently – without needing the printed music. If you have been following the last few posts on the topic and trying them out, this post should feel like a logical extension.
Repetition has long been a staple of music pedagogy. As students we were always asked to play the same section a certain number of times in a row to obtain “mastery” (whatever that is). When most of us became teachers, we just continued the tradition. When I broke from that tradition I noticed that my students started to improve much faster and their playing became more personal and lively.
While a student at University of Miami, I wrote an original jazz tune for one of our ensembles that I was very excited about. I felt the tune captured the vibe of the famous Miles Davis quintet from the ‘60’s… That was the theme of the ensemble. The tune had unpredictable harmonic rhythm, harmony based on modes of melodic minor and a lot of suspended chords, and romantic-influenced melodies. It wasn’t extremely complicated but it wasn’t simple either.
For many students of music, performing without the printed music in front of them can be a stressful venture. Over the years I’ve eliminated the word “memorized” from my teaching vocabulary – at it has helped my students tremendously. However, for the sake of honoring the tradition I’ve included the word “memorize” from time to time in the post – this is the first of a series of posts on playing without the printed page.
For the last several years I’ve been learning more about sound design and electronic music. My students would push me pretty hard when we would work on these concepts forcing me to keep pace. I’ve finally gotten up the skills with the tech to start improvising more freely. Here’s as short sample something I improvised today when working with a program called Reason. First I programmed the drums and the sounds, then improvised on the keyboards. I hope you enjoy it!