Short on Time?!?
Work, school, family, not enough sleep...we're all running this way and that most of the time it seems.
Even trying to get in practice time can just stress us out and then we feel guilty for not getting to our piano for several days in a row.
It's not that we don't want to improve and learn new pieces on the piano, but when in the world are we supposed to get in decent practice time each day, especially with everything gearing back up this time of the year?
In the past few years, more information has been published about this same issue with people that want to exercise on a regular basis. The problem is, as it is with musicians; there isn't enough time every single day to exercise for lengthy periods of time, to set up a good steady routine.
Don't try to exercise for long periods of time on those busiest days...do just 10 minutes at one time!
What a great concept!
Instead of stepping out into an hour long power walk, experts suggest that we should instead do high energy aerobics for 10-15 minutes and as a result, we'll get just as good a work out, if not better.
Now why better?
For athletes, this type of work-out pumps up their metabolism quicker, keeps their metabolism at a higher level after the work out longer, and allowed them to have a daily exercise routine, instead of just working out once or twice a week.
How Does this Apply to Pianists?
We can do exactly the same thing!
Don't have an hour everyday to practice? Just do 10 minutes daily.
It's a lot easier psychologically to find 10 minutes instead of a whole hour, to do something that we might not always feel like doing.
**Yes...this is true. No one, wants to practice every day. This is how we learn self-discipline through piano playing - by "making" ourselves do it even when we "don't feel like it".**
Why is practicing more in terms of days rather than minutes or hours important for pianists?
We are training several different areas of ourselves, when we practice.
Just like athletes who practice their gymnastic routines on a daily basis, we pianists must do the same.
Most of us aren't going to be trying out for the Olympics so we don't have to commit to hours of daily practice to achieve such a high goal.
BUT...in order for us to improve and reach the specific goals we've set for ourselves, the more daily work we can put into our piano playing, it just works out...that the better we'll become and the faster we'll reach our goals!
So for awhile...just forget about trying to get in a lot of practice time every day, (unless you have the time to do that!), and instead, let's figure out how you can get just 10 minutes in , maybe 5 days a week.
When you enter your first practice time, stay completely focused on the specific goals you set up the previous week. Remember, you only have 10 minutes to work and get closer to achieving your weekly goals. Set a timer, if you need to.
For the next 10 minutes ,work slowly, mindfully, and passionately on your specific goals.
Most of us set more than one goal, and this is fine, as long as they don't get overwhelming or frustrating; because then we tend to stop trying.
So let's say, that you've spent 5 minutes working on that D Major Scale, and you've got it. What then? Then move on to your next goal. It's just that easy.
If you're goal is to learn a whole piece, then break that piece down into weeks. Try learning one line a week, instead of the whole piece.
You might think that this is a really slow way to learn a piece or etude, but in the long run, you'll actually reach your goals faster.
Slower practice assures that you are really learning what you're studying. It's a more focused approach, that has more "staying power" than say cramming it all in in a couple of weeks, only to forget it a few weeks later.
Remember, you only have 10 minutes, in each practice session. Plan wisely, and use your time wisely.
There's a neat side-effect of this approach to practicing.
Sometimes, it's not so much that we don't really have the time to practice, we just can't get ourselves to get up, walk over to that keyboard, sit down and start playing. We're human...we're tired...and we just want to relax.
Practicing for 10 minutes at a time, still gives us the time to do anything else we want to!
We're not giving up really anything...it's more of finding out how to better use the time we do have, to accomplish the things we want to in this life.
Doing this with our piano practicing will actually teach us how to do it with other goals we have, and can even show us how to achieve more than we thought we could in all areas of our lives. Neat, eh?
Stay Tuned to LessonsOnTheWeb to learn much more and achieve your dreams of playing the piano!
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