So you (or someone in your house) just started playing the piano? Amazing! The piano is a beautiful instrument that lends itself to innumerable styles of performance. Learning the piano is also one of the most effective ways to develop your brain.
In fact, scientists have proven that a pianists brain develops in such a way that they become more intelligent, better multi-taskers and are “masters of creative, purposeful and efficient communication.”
But you didn’t come here to prove you made a good decision in starting to play the piano. You’re just searching for a beginner piano practice routine.
So where to begin? How do you practise piano when you are just starting out? How long should you practise piano every day? And what is the best piano practice routine?
At Practice Pal, we are passionate about musicians learning and practising their instruments well, giving them the best possible chance to excel in their playing.
This is why we have a few things to say about how to practise piano. Here are our top five tips to get you started:
1. Be kind to yourself
Learning an instrument is a marathon, and if you’re training for a marathon and haven’t run before you shouldn’t start with a 26 mile jog.
When starting piano practice as a beginner, you need to start slow, and you need to pace yourself. You may think that practising for an hour every night for your first few weeks will get you up to speed, and you may be right, but it could also lead to exhaustion, frustration and burnout.
Start with short bursts – fifteen minutes of intentional scales, exercises and practising your pieces three times a week is a great beginning, and the more confident you get the more you can add to your practice.
We want you to love your instrument, so don’t force yourself to play from day one.
At Practice Pal, you can subscribe to online supervised practice – where you are connected to a professional musician who will watch, listen and give advice to practising in the best possible way. Our subscriptions are based on fifteen-minute credits, so you can start in small bursts and build up from there.
2. Get to know your instrument
We all have childhood memories of a teacher lurking in the shadows ready to tell you off when you sneakily open the school piano (don’t we?). So if moments like that have scarred you, we wouldn’t be surprised if you are a bit intimidated by playing your own piano, or the one at your music teachers.
But if you’re going to get the best out of your playing, you need to be in control! Take time to explore the piano – look inside the top, see how the pedals work, watch a YouTube video of someone making a piano!
As you begin to get your head round what goes into building and making sound out of a piano, you’ll begin to appreciate the sounds that you are making!
3. Get set up right
A pet hate of ours at Practice Pal HQ is when an instrument is mistreated.
Stuck in the corner, bashed about by a careless carrier, or used as a surface to dump books, post and stuff you plan on taking upstairs. When starting a routine of practising piano, make sure you have good and easy access to your instrument.
If you need to do a tidy up before every music practice you’re never going to properly put your piano in your weekly routine!
The main thing you should store on your piano is your music. Make sure that you have a stool at the right height, and that it’s easy to move up or down if there are several in-house musicians.
It would also be helpful to have a metronome. If you don’t know how to use one, or which one to get – ask your teacher! They’ll know the most useful one for beginners.
4. Have a plan and stick to it
Going into a practice room with no idea what to practice is a recipe for disaster.
Your teacher should be writing notes at the end of each lesson to remind you what was played, how you are getting on, and what you should be practising before the next lesson. Take a look and talk it through so you can come up with a plan.
We’ve put together an easy to use weekly music practice chart that helps you list everything you want to practice through a week, and allows you to rate how your progress is.
Write it just before your first practice of the week and bring it to your teacher so you can talk about how your practice is going.
5. Get help from a professional
The more you have set in place, the easier practice becomes, but nothing can beat having a professional musician guide you along the way. Practice at least 1 hour a day with Practice Pal, and you’ll find yourself improving your skill level with the help of our professional musicians.
Specialist music schools across the world have practice rooms where music tutors walk up and down the corridors listening in to musicians practice, giving advice and encouragement and helping them skyrocket their progress through their knowledge and experience.
We’ve recreated this with our revolutionary online piano lessons, supervised practice subscription.
We work with some of the country’s best professional musicians who are passionate about sharing their love for music, and their passion for practice!
Practice is the most effective way to make progress in practical music education. Indeed, there’s no point in learning a musical instrument if you don’t practice!
So why not start the way you want to continue, by getting a professional musician to help you along the way, any day of the week.