Are you getting bored or perhaps discouraged with playing the piano? In this week’s guest post, Allysia from PianoTV.net shares three ways to stay motivated at the piano…
We all know the drill with motivation. You listen to a great recording or live performance, and are filled with energy and enthusiasm. You rush to the piano and happily practice every day for a week, a month, or even longer.
But then maybe you get bored, or hit a rough patch, and suddenly you can barely drag yourself over to the piano. Practice seems like a chore, not a joy. Waxing and waning motivation is something that all musicians struggle with.
In today’s PianoTV episode, I wanted to sit down and chat about some solutions on how to stay motivated at the piano. Below are my top three tips for staying motivated. To catch the other five, check out the video below.
1. Find Inspiration
I’m inspired to play music by many things. One of them is probably pretty obvious, but worth saying: Listening to music. There are a few key albums that always fuel me up and leave me eager to get playing.
These albums and musical inspirations are different for everyone, so it’s worth taking note of those truly amazing albums that you love. That way, if you’re in a slump, you can pull out the album or whatever it is, and remember why you love music in the first place.
Sometimes listening to a radio station is enough to fire me up. I hear a really awesome song, and suddenly I want to run over to the piano and play awesome songs.
But for musical motivation, I think it’s essential to listen to music on the regular, in whatever format you prefer. If you’re learning music, you have to immerse yourself in music to feed the fire.
2. Keep it Fun
Staying motivated at the piano means having fun while you’re there. If you hate doing something, it doesn’t matter how much inspiration you find – you still won’t want to do it. And if practicing is dull and painful, then you have to adjust it to feel fun and rewarding.
Yes, practicing piano is hard work. It’s a lot like exercising. You have to find a way to do it that you enjoy, or else it’ll never stick. For example, I absolutely hate jogging and lifting weights, but I love yoga.
Sometimes the last thing I want to do is hop on my yoga mat, but I’m always glad I did once I do it. Practicing piano can sometimes feel like that – you’re not always going to be happy-dancing to the bench, but once you get going, it should be enjoyable.
3. Build a Daily Routine
Sometimes staying motivated at the piano is simply building it into a habit. If I don’t exercise at least every weekday, I lose steam and fall of the bandwagon completely. It’s an all-or-nothing thing for me. I can’t just do it a few times a week, I need to do it every day.
Beyond that, I need to exercise at the same general time each day (late morning). I do the same thing with piano. If you aren’t practicing daily at more or less the same time each day, you’re working against yourself.
Building specific habits make it much easier to maintain a steady stream of motivation. Without habits, getting yourself to do something challenging (like play piano) can feel like swimming upstream, and on days when you’re not feeling too strong, you’ll probably abandon it entirely.
But habits allow you to run on auto-pilot. If it’s a built-in part of your day, you don’t need a lot of momentum to practice. You just do it.
Good luck with your piano practicing adventures! If you enjoyed this post/video, you might enjoy my 32-page e-book titled, “How To Practice Piano (and like it!)”. You can find that on the PianoTV website.