1. Why do you want to grow as a pianist?
My youngest daughter don't like when I say that she is five years old. She replies that she is five years and a half. Children want to grow up even if we sometimes like them to remain the little cute beings that we are used to lift up and kiss and mess around with.
I guess this also is true with pianists like you and me. The act of learning new things on the piano, new chords, new melodies, new scales and other things is similar to the feeling of being alive.
2. How can you grow as a pianist?
It is important to have something to improve upon in your piano playing. An old person to me is someone who doesn't want to learn things anymore. To have this feeling inside that you are growing as a pianist and improving you must find ways to concentrate on a few things at a time and find inspiration to practice everyday or at least nearly everyday.
But how can you accomplish that? Let me show you a way.
3. What can help you grow as a pianist?
As a young boy I learned classical piano playing with the help of a private piano teacher. She was an old lady, at least I thought so at the time, always opening the door with a smile and treating me like a king.
One thing I remember most was when she played the piano music I was supposed to have as homework for the week. When she played the piece of music her fingers seemed to sing and she gave me the feeling through her playing that the most joyous thing I could do during the coming week was to learn that piece of music.
Nevertheless I remember that I sometimes didn't practice enough during the week and walked the stairs of stone up to her apartment with heavy steps and a bad conscience knowing that I could have done better. Nevertheless my piano teacher smiled at me and was kind to me as always. Sometimes she gave me the homework for one more week but she never yelled at me for not having done my homework. My bad conscience did that job instead.
The lesson learned from this experience is that a good piano teacher can help you grow as a pianist by giving you inspiration, giving you homework according to your level of accomplishment and giving you a deadline thereby creating momentum to start working. If you can't afford a piano teacher you can give yourself a decent homework and set a goal to master this homework a week later or set another deadline.
4. What my piano teacher teaches you about practicing on the piano
Practice everyday. Or practice the art of playing piano everyday. Even if you don't play much try to play anyway so you don't get away from the habit of growing as a pianist.
Try to make it a joyful occasion when you practice your homework on your piano. It will help you anticipate your practice sessions and make it easier for you to maintain your decision to play everyday.
If you feel positive when you practice a piece of piano music you will experience that this feeling will be evoked when you play this piece of music at other occasions.
I guess my piano teacher liked to play the piano and my positive feelings when she played for me was probably a result of her own enjoyment as she played the piano.
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Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit his site Capotasto Music and download your free sheet music and learn to play resources at www.capotastomusic.com
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