Healthy Beginnings

Become a Better Piano Player in Six Months

Most piano players don’t get better because they recycle their practice. They simply play what they practiced the first few months over the next six years (or more). If you want to become good at the piano in the shortest amount of time, you’ve got to do it differently. The key is deliberate practice.

To practice deliberately means to purposely intend to improve performance. Here are a few key points to help you practice deliberately.

• Have an intention–have an intention whenever you sit down to practice the piano. It doesn’t have to be written down, but you could say to yourself, for example, “today I intend to improve my performance of ‘Green Sleeves.'”

• Focus on one area at a time–this will build up your confidence as you master one area at a time. With the “Green Sleeves” example, if you feel you’re having a difficult time with the left hand chord, work on your left hand alone until you can do it smoothly. Never move on until you’ve mastered a specific skill.

• Practice on something that is slightly beyond your competency–always practice on tougher pieces, skills or techniques. It’s okay to practice pieces that you already know for the purpose of memorization, but don’t get comfortable and practice just that. This is the mistake that most piano players make. Strive to go outside your comfort zone. Done with three chord songs? Move on with four, five, six chord songs.

• Consistency–15 minutes of practice a day every day is superior to two hours a day, once a week. Your brain makes better connections when your practices are not too far apart.

• Evaluate your performance–ask for feedback whenever possible from a teacher, a friend or a family member. They don’t have to be musically inclined. Just ask them to judge your overall performance and how or what you can improve. You’ll be surprised at the valuable pointers they can give that you would not be able to notice yourself. If you don’t have anyone readily available, tape yourself and be your own critique. Again, you’ll be able to catch certain mistakes that you wouldn’t be able to catch while you’re performing.

These five key points will help you become a piano player faster than most students out there: have an intention, focus on one at a time, go beyond your current level of competency and be consistent with practicing and evaluating your performance. Form these habits from the beginning and your success at the piano will be much higher.


For more info, contact Tahoe Piano Lessons at (530) 414-4464, or visit online at