How many of you have enough time to do the kind of practicing that you really want to do, every single day, every single week of the year?
When things are really busy it's hard to find even 30 minutes to practice each day. When we end up forcing ourselves to put in some time at our keyboard at the end of a long day, we don't get as much accomplished as we would if we weren't so tired and drained from not having anymore energy.
So what can you do when you need to get some specific practicing done on a piece that you're working on or else a new technique that you're learning, and you simply can't be at your keyboard one week??
Just imagine...and in this case, you're going to imagine your keyboard!
Try it right now...get a mental picture of your keyboard in your mind. See how easy that was?
Now...picture yourself sitting at the keyboard and you're looking down on the keys, just as if you're sitting there in real time.
Still easy, right? Where are your hands? Are they in your lap or on the keyboard already? Are you using one hand or are both hands involved?
Let's take this a little farther now. Instead of imagining your keyboard, I want you to imagine instead, your music that you're working on.
Can you see the 1st page with the key signature and the time signature at the top? Now picture the first line of the piece. Try to envision as much of the piece as you can without looking at your music. I bet you'll see a lot more of it than you thought you would! Our minds are amazing...and have already memorized every note in your piece.
Now that you've experimented with imagining your keyboard and then your music, I want you to get your music visually in front of you; away from the piano.
This...is the step that will enable you to practice on your piece or exercise even if you can't sit down at your piano.
Start mentally reading through your music and at the same time let your fingers move with each note, just as if you were sitting at your piano playing it. You can use a book or even your lap as a substitute keyboard; anything that is relatively flat will be just fine.
Play around with this a bit just to get used to the idea and physical feel of "playing" away from your keyboard. You can try this with a really simple piece to make it even easier in the beginning.
Do you notice any mistakes that you are making that you also make at your piano? That's OK...this is practice, so just slow down and work it through slowly and be very aware of what you are doing so you can correct any mistakes. The great part about this...is that when you do go back to your piano and play that same spot, you will see improvement because of the mental work that you did using your imagination!
You can apply this same way of learning and working to when you're trying to memorize a piece as well. Go through the piece in your head without your music or piano...and make a note of any places that you stumble at or forget.
You can also use this technique to help with stage fright and improving your general confidence level overall. In this case, you would imagine yourself playing everything correctly, feeling happy while you're playing, and accomplishing everything you want to...in "real" time.
Using our imagination to accomplish our goals on the piano is not only fun, it ends up being one of the most powerful tools we have in supporting and aiding our growth. This is true in every area of our lives, actually. Try this with work, school, or community projects before and during your involvement with them.
Using our natural ability to day-dream is what we're really talking about here, except that in this case, we're in control of what is happening in our imagination, at least for those few minutes.
Use this tool as one of your main "go to's", when you don't have enough time to sit down and practice at your piano. Use it also when you want to just ad to the work that you are doing at the piano, as this will make that work grow even faster!
Stay Tuned to PianoLessonsOnTheWeb.com to learn much more and achieve your dreams of playing the piano!
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