Setting Goals in Your Piano Practice

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Welcome to, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about the importance of setting goals in your piano practice. There are 3 distinct ways of practicing the piano depending upon what you’re trying to achieve. I have an extended video about this on my Patreon channel, which you’re all welcome to join. But I’m going to give you a little taste of it because it’s so important!

Knowing what you’re trying to achieve is a prerequisite for getting anything accomplished when you sit down to practice.

Whether you’re learning a piece of music to memorize it, or you’re trying to develop your sight reading, or perhaps you are working on improvisation skills, these are all important skill sets. So, here are some tips from my Patreon channel for you.

Piano music is extremely complex compared to almost any other instrument.

You have to have a unique way to approach learning music on the piano. For example, if I were to recite a series of twenty random numerical digits, it would be difficult for you to remember all of them. Even if those numbers were repeated several times, you would still struggle to commit all twenty digits to memory. But if I gave you only three digits, it would be very easy to remember them. Then, I could give you three more digits, and three more after that connecting as you go, you could learn those twenty digits in just a few minutes! Because, there is only a certain amount of information your brain can assimilate at one time. That is the secret to memorizing piano music, or anything else!

Look with your eyes, not your head.

When sight reading music, if you need to glance at your hands, do not move your head. It takes too long. Just look down with your eyes instead. Your eyes are quick! Trust your feel and and your ears when sight reading rather than trying to look at your hands.

Keep Your Eyes on the Score

When I was much younger, my father was performing the Tchaikovsky B-flat minor Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall. One day he asked me to accompany him in his studio, since he had two pianos. He put the music in front of me and I felt overwhelmed – all those flats and so many notes, a whole orchestral score reduced for the piano! At that time I could barely sight-read anything. But, I just kept my eyes on the score. I missed more notes than I got, but I got through it! I never lost my place in the score. From that moment on, I knew I could read anything, and I’ve been getting more and more of the notes ever since! So, that’s the secret, keeping your eyes on the music. The best way I’ve discovered to have the discipline to do that is playing with other musicians.

This is just a taste of what’s available on Patreon.

I hope this has been enlightening for you! It’s so important to utilize different methods of practice depending upon what you want to accomplish. That’s a really important subject that I wish all teachers would show their students. If you enjoy exploring pianos and piano playing, you may want to join my Patreon family which offers you even more videos and the opportunity to be part of the creative process. These videos are for you!

I’m Robert Estrin here at, Your Online Piano Resource.
Please feel free to contact me with any piano related questions for future videos!

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