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Piano: Establishing Good Practice Habits

Piano: Establishing Good Practice Habits

Practice time is one of the most important factors in any musical journey. For you to progress in any musical studies, consistency and efficiency are key. We’ve narrowed down seven good practice habits that children can use throughout their musical journey. What you will notice is that many of these skills help in life, too!

  •    Focus – Eliminate distractions like phones, TV, computer. Focus on the music.
  •    Slow practice – be deliberate and on purpose. Practice does not make perfect, practice    makes permanent. So, be smart!
  •    Detail oriented – have a goal and work towards that goal.
  •    Sectional practice – do not know practice what you know. Practice what you don’t know.
  •    Practicing all Assignments – Don’t leave something out just because it is hard. Do something easy and short to warm up, but use the energy as soon as possible to get to the hard stuff. Don’t wait.
  •    Record/Listen/Evaluate Performance – Record your practices and listen to them. You’ll notice wasted time, bad choices, improvements, and an overall sense of how good you are at practicing.
  •    Consistent – Make practicing a habit. You will learn to love practicing!

 

How to make practice a habit?

It usually takes two to four weeks for a person to make something a habit. Though good habits can be a bit challenging and hard to establish, it’s the bad habits that are harder to get rid of. Setting a goal and keeping a clear mindset is the best way to start forming good practice habits.

  1.    To make your practice more effective and organized, make use of the practice charts and   assignments for you to keep track of the flow of your practice and stay accountable.
  1.    Looking at the bigger picture to track practice can help make you more detail oriented. Understanding your overall goal and the steps for how to get there are what practicing is about. Mark off each day, or section you’ve accomplished, so you can see your progress.
  1.    Ask your teacher for practice flowchart that will serve as your guide as well as bring additional ideas (hand stretching, duration, how many times, cool down, etc.).
  1.    Keep the piano, sheet music, theory books, clean organized and easily located. Keep your rehearsal space clean.
  1.    Keep your references open, organized, and close to you.
  1.    Make a list of practice techniques that you think will work with your structured practice plan. This is another reason your teacher is valuable, they have lots of ideas!
  1.    If you’re ready to play a song, record it, listen to it, and evaluate yourself. Listen for mistakes, nonmusical tempo changes, etc. Next time work on just those parts. Don’t rehearse what is going well – you don’t need it.

 

If you follow these effective practice habits, you will notice a rapid increase in proficiency and overall growth in musicianship.

We are here to help! Book a free consultation with Cadenza Music Academy now! or Send us an email at [email protected].com or call us at 949-416-2355.

5 Benefits of Playing the Piano

5 Benefits of Playing the Piano

It is widely known that playing the piano can raise your quality of life. There are many who believe it can raise your intelligence and help your overall health at the same time. Recently, this has been supported by scientific research from universities and independent scientists who believe that music should play an important role in every person’s development. Here are the top five of how playing piano can improve your way of life.

 

Improves hearing and listening skills

Research has shown that playing the piano results in less hearing loss as people age. This is also true of most musicians, as sensory inputs in the ear are strengthened as they are used as well as the auditory cortex part of the brain becomes less prone to degeneration. It’s never late to start taking piano lessons and prevent yourself from suffering this aging-related problem.

 

Improves overall brain health

Children who have had music lessons show a greater tendency for superior language and reading skills. Specifically, these children have a larger and stronger vocabulary along with greatly improved reading comprehension than kids who haven’t had any musical lessons or training. According to the Northwestern researchers, “The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness and thus requires society to re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development.”

 

Develops Language Skills

When it comes to incorporating sound patterns for a new language into words, researchers found that musicians are better than the non-musicians. There is an improved ability for the brain to comprehend speech, focus on a task, specifically within a noisy background. Meanwhile, kids with disabilities in learning, who are easily distracted when there’s a lot of background noise, may be especially helped by taking music lessons. Piano lessons and training strengthen the same neural processes that often are deficient in those kids with developmental dyslexia or those who are suffering from difficulty of hearing speech.

 

Improved Test Scores

The discipline and maturity from studying music translates to all facets of life. Studies conducted by Jeffrey Lynn Kluball from the University of Sarasota and Daryl Erick Trent from East Texas State University found a significant connection between academic achievement in math, science and language arts, and the number of years of instrumental music lessons. Students who participated in instrumental music training scored significantly higher compared to those that didn’t, in standardized tests.

 

Immune System Benefits

Human Growth Hormone increases when playing music. Research findings by the University of Miami revealed that a group of individuals who took group keyboard lessons shows higher levels of HGH than a group of people who did not play. There are studies that show musicians have better overall health and tend to bounce back more quickly from common ailments.

Aside from the unquestionable benefits, playing music, piano, in particular, has been an outlet for those who are seeking a fun escape, joy, and creative expression. Start your journey with Cadenza today!

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