Thursday, February 11, 2010

Learning how to practice

I learned something about playing piano today.

I have a problem in that if I play a song too much it will inevitably fall apart. This happened to one of my audition pieces last fall, by the way. Well, today I learned that it happens because of how I practice.

When I first learn a piece I practice hands alone. Then I start doing hands together in tiny tiny chunks. As I get better I can do it in bigger and bigger chunks. Eventually I can play the whole piece.

The problem is that when I get to where I can play the whole piece, my mindset becomes "Why the heck would I play it in small chunks again, let alone hands alone?" I realized today that this just might be the source of my problem, and when I mentioned it to my piano teacher she responded emphatically that it is not a good mindset to be in.

So, I guess I need to change my approach to piano. Even when I can play a song the whole way through without a problem I still need to practice it in small chunks. And yes, perhaps even hands alone.

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