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How to Practice Effectively

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

Take a look at some great practice pointers from Arthur Zepp (music educator and author). Effective practice happens only when done with care and intention. Think as you practice, or you may be losing valuable time.

1. Practice all new material in slow motion, a few measures at a time. Hands alone(piano) at first will help you play the piece sooner and better.

2. Don't expect to enjoy a new piece the first week. First, you must learn it.

3. THINK about the time. Count aloud when necessary, until you are sure, then feel the time.

4. Don't guess at the notes above or below the staff. Read them carefully.

5. Make exercise of any tricky spot. Repeat many times, firmly and correctly.

6. Correct fingering is necessary for confident playing. The fingering for scale passages, arpeggios, etc., must be the same every time. This is the only way those difficult places will become easy.

7. Play legato (connected) unless notes are marked staccato. (If your hands look bumpy and jerky, that is the way your piano will sound.)

8. Observe every expression mark. Even correct notes will not sound interesting unless they are played expressively.

9. Pedal with your ears. Don't be a pedal stickler.

10. LISTEN to your playing.

After each practice you should be able to feel that everything you are working on is a little better-a little nearer finished.

REMEMBER-correct practice always sounds neat.

Practice pointers from Arthur Zepp.

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