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5 Ways to Sneak Piano Practice into Your Busy Schedule

February 14, 2023

5 Ways to Sneak Piano Practice into Your Busy Schedule

Is your crazy schedule making it difficult for you to find time to practice piano? Below, piano teacher Julie P. shares five creative ways you can sneak piano practice into your busy schedule…

You want to improve your piano playing skills, but your busy schedule doesn’t allow time for you to practice as much as you should.

Between school, work, and extracurricular activities, your schedule fills up fast. Just because you have a busy schedule, however, doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in some piano practice.

If you get creative enough, you can find more time than you thought.

It’s no secret that finding time to practice the piano can be difficult, especially when you’re juggling a busy schedule. But with a little creativity, you can find ways to sneak in some quality practice time without disrupting your day-to-day routine. 

Below are five ways to sneak piano practice into your busy schedule.

What’s the Best Way to Practice Piano?

While there is no single answer to this question, there are a few general guidelines that can help you make the most of your practice time. Here’s how to practice piano:

  • Set a specific time. Set aside a regular time each day for practice. This will help to develop a consistent routine and ensure that you have enough time to work on all the different aspects of playing. 
  • Warm up before you start practicing. This will help loosen your muscles and prepare your body for the upcoming session. 
  • Focus on one thing at a time. Trying to work on too many things at once can lead to confusion and frustration. Instead, focus on one area and really drill down into it. 

By following these simple tips, you can make the most of your practice time and become a better player in the process. It doesn’t matter how much time you have!

Another great tip to help you maximize a limited time for piano practice is to hire a piano teacher. They’ll let you know which areas you should be prioritizing and help you get on the right track. You’ll also learn tips and tricks like what you see in the video below: 

How Many Hours a Day Should I Practice Piano?

How many hours a day should you practice piano? This is a question that often comes up, particularly among young students and their parents. 

While there is no definitive answer, most teachers agree that consistent practice is more important than the total number of hours. For beginners, 30 minutes a day is generally sufficient. 

As students progress, they may want to increase their practice time to 45 minutes or an hour. 

However, it is still important to be consistent, even if that means practicing for only 20 minutes on some days. 

Ultimately, the goal is to develop a love for music and a lifelong passion for playing the piano. By following a regular practice routine, students can make steady progress and enjoy the process of learning this beautiful instrument.

5 Ways to Sneak Piano Practice into Your Busy Schedule

You don’t need long blocks of time to practice the piano. Piano practice is actually more effective if you break it up into shorter sessions over a longer period of time.

In doing so, your brain has time to process what you’ve learned in between your piano sessions. Instead of practicing for an hour one or two times a week, find five or six 10-20 minute chunks of time throughout the week.

For example, it might work well for you to practice for 20 minutes every morning before school. Or maybe you can practice 10 minutes before work and another 10 minutes after work each day.

The key to shorter practice sessions is to set smaller achievable goals. Pick one thing on your practice assignment and only practice that one thing. You might even focus on just one section of a piece, rather than the whole piece.

Your time on the bus or in the car can be used to improve your piano skills. For example, flash cards are great for reinforcing note-reading and other musical terms and symbols.

You can find hundreds of free, printable flash cards at Pianimation. Another great option for the car or train is a silent keyboard. It’s very useful for practicing scales or other simple songs and exercises.

For those days when your busy schedule has you exhausted and you don’t have the energy to sit down at the piano, there are a lot of great piano apps you can play.

Piano Maestro from JoyTunes, for example, is a fantastic iPad app that you can use in conjunction with your piano or keyboard. The app has a large library of songs for all playing levels and different genres.

For each song, the sheet music scrolls across the screen while the app plays accompaniment music. You play the notes as they go by, either using the keyboard provided on the screen of your iPad or your own piano.

At the end, you get points on how well you did and progress through the different score levels. This app requires a subscription fee, but teachers and their students can use it for free.

Another great iPad app for kids is SproutBeat. It has hundreds of music theory worksheets that kids can complete right on the screen by drawing with their fingers.

You can even print out worksheets to take in the car. The app comes with 20 free worksheet downloads and charges a flat fee for complete access to their library.

Any time your ears are free, you can work on your piano and musicality skills. The more quality piano music you listen to, the more you learn about what great piano playing is.

For instance, you can learn a lot about tone quality, the dynamic range of the piano, or what great rhythmic accuracy is, all from listening.

Try to find high quality recordings of the pieces you’re learning. If you can’t find recordings of your pieces, ask your piano teacher to make some quick recordings for you.

Even browsing through YouTube to hear more advanced pieces can be a great way to get a better sense of great piano playing, and get inspired to practice at the same time.

If your free time for practicing is too early in the morning or too late at night to be making noise at the piano, you can use mental practice.

For mental practice, you look at your music and visualize in your mind the arm and finger movements for playing it. This might be tricky at first, but you’ll get better at it the more you practice it.

If you try mental practice, you’ll be amazed at how much better you play your music the next time you sit down at the piano.

Can You Over Practice Piano?

The simple answer to this question is yes – it is possible to over practice piano, and doing so can lead to a number of problems. 

Over practicing can cause physical issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and joint pain. It can also lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. In some cases, over practicing can even lead to suicidal thoughts. 

Of course, this is not to say that practice is bad – on the contrary, practice is essential for any musician who wants to improve. However, it is important to find a balance between practice and rest. Allowing the body and mind to recover from the rigors of practice is essential for long-term success.

A Few More Tips for Your Piano Practice Routine

No matter how much time you have to commit in your schedule to your daily practice routine, here are some tips to implement.

Include Piano Scales Practice

Scales are the foundation of all music, no matter what instrument you play. 

They provide a way to warm up your fingers and hands before playing, and they also help you to learn proper fingering technique. In addition, scales can help you to improve your sense of pitch and to develop a good sense of rhythm. 

Even if you only have a few minutes to practice, spending some time playing scales can be beneficial. So next time you sit down at the piano, make sure to take some time to play some scales. Your fingers will thank you!

Be Sure to Include Piano Sight Reading Practice

Many beginning piano students are eager to learn how to play their favorite songs. However, it is just as important to develop sight reading skills. 

Sight reading is the ability to read and play musical notation without prior memorization or practice. It is a valuable skill for any musician, but it can be especially helpful for pianists.

 By sight reading, pianists can develop a greater understanding of music theory and expand their repertoire. In addition, sight reading can help pianists to become more proficient at improvising and composing their own music. 

While it may take some time and effort to develop these skills, the rewards are well worth the effort. So be sure to include sight reading in your piano practice regimen.

Try Using Piano Practice Sheets

If you love playing piano but find that you don’t always have the time to sit down and practice