If you want to learn how to play piano, you have to practice, train, and work on it regularly.
Whether you have a piano teacher or piano lessons or not, this means you have to schedule when and how you should be learning how to play the piano. The issue of “when” you should practice often comes up, especially from those trying to find the time to learn piano. Here’s some information that may answer this piano playing issue.
Ask your piano tutor
Between 80 and 90% of learning piano happens when a piano player is sitting in front of the keyboard, playing piano alone, reading sheet music, doing exercises, and working on their scales. Learning the piano requires a lot of independent learning from the student. The tutor can’t always be sitting behind the student and guiding them.
Of course, their teacher will still play a fundamental role in providing the student with everything they need to learn to play piano effectively and give them a better understanding of music theory with every piano lesson.
Firstly, a good tutor doesn’t just give quality piano tutorials, They need to be somebody who can take the student’s personality into consideration and decide on the best use of their time as they learn how to play piano.
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They then need to provide the student with the necessary skills and materials to work with (piano music is very useful), allowing them to use their own free time learning how to read sheet music and notation and learning how to play the piano songs they love. In fact a piano tutor is there to teach the musician how to learn about music.
If you want to know when you should be learning to play piano, you should definitely ask your piano tutor. They'll tell you how and when you should be working on your playing. They’re the best person to give you recommendations and advice. To ensure they give you the best advice, make sure you tell them exactly how you like to work, what your normal routines are, and what you’re struggling with, etc.
By listening to their feedback, you're basically learning how to teach yourself in your free time and giving yourself free piano lessons when they're not there.
It’s also important to know that some tutors are very strict when it comes to independent practice (my piano tutor always was), sometimes planning their training down to the minute! Others are happy to give their students a list of general rules and exercises to complete between classes.
When beginning piano lessons, you should find the piano tutor that works best with your learning style and how you play.
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The importance of willpower
If you’re asking yourself “when should I practice?”, you mightn’t have a good piano tutor since a good tutor would have already told you where, when, and how to practice the piano during your piano course.
They should almost always be the person you ask. However, you could always ask your music teacher at school, too.
Don't blame your tutor straight away. It’s also possible that the problem lies elsewhere: maybe you can’t practice without someone behind you telling you to do it or you aren’t motivated enough to practice independently. Learning music isn't easy, after all!
Most young piano students give up playing because they lack the perseverance or don’t have the necessary discipline or skills to be effective independent learners.
This is where willpower comes into it. To effectively learn to play the piano, you first need to be learning how to motivate yourself to learn new skills and then keep working on them. This is especially true when it comes to piano scales, fingering, learning how to read music, or more advanced techniques like sight reading or seamlessly coordinating both hands.
Since the piano or keyboard is probably going to be the most difficult musical instrument you learn, your piano tutor will have to play an important role in keeping you motivated. A teacher will motivate and encourage their students to work hard and be passionate about the instrument they’re learning.
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Scheduling: Is it Really a Problem?
If a lot of people are asking when they should be practicing the piano, maybe it’s because people don’t tend to have a lot of time to begin with. Whether you’re at middle school, high school, or even college, your days are probably busy enough as it is.
How can you find the time to practice playing the piano? People usually give up playing the piano because of this very reason: they simply just don’t have the time to actually learn to play the instrument or never sit down in front of the keys.
Finding the time to play the piano is a real issue. Some people are too busy to play the piano and may have to give up other things just to make any progress. At the same time, not having the time to practice is one of the oldest excuses in the book when it comes to students who just can’t be bothered.
If you really love playing the piano and want to get better and become a real pianist, you’ll always find the time to practice. You can play piano at home, after all. An enthusiastic player will look for online piano lessons and spend hours practicing solely with their left hand, reading music, or memorizing a new chord.
Ask yourself whether or not you don’t have enough time to practice or if you’re just making excuses?
Studies suggest that the average American watches over 5 hours of TV per day! If we can find the time to watch this much television, surely we can give up one hour of binge-watching Game of Thrones and focus on our piano learning, instead!
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How much should I practice playing the piano?
It doesn't matter whether you're learning classical piano or jazz piano, if you’re really passionate about learning to play the piano and practicing, you’ll find the time you need to do so.
Though this doesn’t answer the question. The main question is how much time do you need to spend practicing playing the piano?
You’ll never get any further ahead if you only play the piano during your classes at school or in your lessons with your private tutor. You’ll never get any better if you only practice one hour per week.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question; it depends on the person. Some students can make a lot of progress just by working two hours a week while others may need to practice at least four hours a week to get any better. It’s important to know that the number of hours isn’t the only thing you need to consider. Regularity is the key to success when it comes to playing the piano.
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Regularity First and Foremost
It’s better to spend 30 minutes every day practicing than practicing for a full three hours every now and then. Regularity is the key word. Work little and often.
You’ll learn self-discipline and start to enjoy learning to play the piano. Working regularly allows you to create a learning routine. Preparing for your lessons is essential!
Don’t let your piano gather a single speck of dust!
Your practice sessions should at least last 30 minutes. It’s difficult to make any progress by working for less than half an hour with at least 10 minutes of warming up.
Is it possible to work only at the weekend?
Some students simply don’t have the time to practice any time other than the weekend. Juggling your professional life, family life, your partner, and your pets, might leave you with no spare time during the week. Some students wonder whether they’ll make any progress if they only work at the weekend.
Again, there’s not a single answer to this question. This routine can work for some students. For others, it’s not so easy. It completely depends on the person and their own motivation.
Some people can learn the piano teaching themselves and end up being able to sing and play at the same time.
The main problem with only practicing at the weekend is that you may end up being demotivated by the lack of routine. Ideally, you should play the piano at least once every three days. This means that at some point you’ll have to practice during the week.
If you only play at the weekend but want to get better, you’ll have to practice at least two hours every weekend. The best solution is to put aside at least one day during the week where you can sit down and practice.
The “when” and the “how”
This articles mainly deals with the “when”. However, there’s also the issue of “how”. To put it another way, it’s the quality of practice that counts, not the quantity. Some spend one or two hours a day in front of their piano without making any progress.
Overworking is sometimes the worst way to work. On the other hand, those who really work, even if just for two hours a week, can make tons of progress. By working hard, you can make a lot of progress by working less.
While this article isn’t really about “how” you should work, here are a few tips to consider:
Enjoy practicing. If you don’t enjoy it, you’ll struggle to progress.
Don’t work just your hands. Work your brain. Try to simplify piano pieces.
In order to make progress, your brain needs to be active while you’re learning. Concentration and memory, which are essential when it comes to learning, are mental faculties.
Establish a weekly work schedule complete with learning objectives: figure out a piano piece, work on a particular piece or exercise.
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