How to Practice the Piano… Outside of the Studio

Piano exercisesWhether you’re on vacation or simply working around a busy schedule, you don’t always have your instrument with you. And while we’ve shared strategies on how to practice guitar during these times (reviewing notes on the fretboard, studying the chords, or even simply developing your ears by picking out intervals in the music around you, for example), the same ideas can be used for piano players.

We came across a great article about this very concept on Tim Topham’s blog, an awesome resource for musicians.  In his post, Topham runs through how he practiced while mid-flight, placing the music in front of him and studying it one bar at at time.  He describes his method as follows:

  1. Study the left hand with the score
  2. Close your eyes and picture playing each note clearly in your mind
  3. Play it a number of times in your mind and while moving hands on an imaginary keyboard
  4. Study the right hand with the score
  5. Close eyes and picture playing every note of the right hand melody, and repeat a few times as for the left hand
  6. Play hands together with eyes closed picturing the movement of the hands and the coordination of the fingers. It’s vital that you can picture playing every note for this to be a successful exercise.
  7. Check back to the score to ensure you’re playing it correctly and move onto the next bar.

Using these visualization techniques, you can train yourself to easily memorize pieces – a skill that will come in handy if you start competing  (many competitions require this) or if you are having trouble learning the intricacies of the song.  If you already know the notes and fingerings by heart, you can then turn your attention to the dynamics, articulations and different emotions of the music. Have fun!

Check out the full article here.



You might also like…
10 Ways to Spice Up Your Piano Scales
Improving Sight Reading as a Beginner Musician
All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Music Recitals


Photo by Cocteau Boy

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