Take Your Time So You Learn Faster

Sometimes when sitting down at the piano to practice there’s an urge to push things through as quick as you can. As if your hair was on fire or something like that. What I’ve found over the years is that slowing down, relaxing into your practice and taking your time often leads to completion of music faster than going at it like the Tasmanian Devil.

When you’re learning music there are going to be parts that you can play pretty well, or you would even consider as being complete. There will also be parts that you get stuck at every time. Sections where as you come to them your mind starts to wander and thing “Am I going to make it through this section with my fingers intact?”

To make the most of the your practice time, make sure to focus on the sections that that cause your concern. Play through these parts until you wondered what all the fuss was about. Once you get to that stage gradually add them back in to your music.

For example, if you have 2 bars of the music that are causing problems. Work on them. Try hands separate. Make sure your fingering is comfortable. Put your hands together to make sure that you understand your coordination. Work on your dynamics, phrasing and musicality. Once that’s done it’s time to move on.

From here, don’t just straight back to the start of the music and play all the way through to the new shiny section. Just add a couple of notes or beats on before and after the problem part. Gradually from there add more and more in before it and after it. Eventually the part that was causing problems will be merged back in again and you can focus on another section.

Try this when you’re working on your current or next piece. Help yourself build confidence in those tricky spots and note how quickly you start to complete your music.

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