How to Practice More Efficiently?
Mastering any skill, whether playing the piano, playing golf, or hitting a baseball, takes practice—hours and hours of it. But what separates the pros from the beginners is how they approach their practice sessions.
As a beginner, it can be difficult to know where to start, how to prepare for practice, and without fail, what you should work on. Without a good structure and a plan, your practice will be given away to distractions, and real progress will be hard to come by.
Let's discuss how you can practice more efficiently with a daily plan.
There are a couple of things you should do before getting started on your practice. First, figure out what you want to accomplish. What is your goal? Is it sight-reading music faster? Or playing a section of the Chopin Etudes with more accuracy? Maybe you want to learn some songs for an upcoming gig. Whatever it is, write it down so that your goal is clear and in front of you every time you sit down on the bench.
A proper environment is important for better practice without any distractions. For example, if you are trying to master piano skills, introduce yourself to your room by adding a piano. Also, set up the necessary furniture so that your piano will be at the perfect distance from you. If you are starting with scales and arpeggio, try sitting on a stool to reach higher notes easily. Set up some white noise speakers or an electric guitar if need be.
Trying to make absolutely perfect your playing right away will kill your motivation. If you are trying to learn a new piece, don't expect it to be perfect after a couple of weeks. Slow and steady practice is much better than a fast and sloppy one. If you want to see progress, slow progress is the way.
Set a goal for yourself and start practicing small parts of it. It may sound impossible, but it is easier than you think with the right approach. So make a plan that includes 10 to 20 percent of your goal. For example, if you want to learn a brand new piece quickly and effectively, set your goal of learning one new piece every two weeks. If it doesn't fit in two weeks, now don't worry about that. Just focus on the next two weeks.
If you can't find a good way to track your progress, it will be difficult for you as a beginner to feel like you are moving forward with your practice. Using technology is essential to help you track your progress and keep motivating yourself. For example, if you are trying to learn a new piece, find a free sheet music software that allows you to upload PDFs, record your performance and track your progress. On the other hand, check out the music flashcards apps in your phone storage if you are trying to work on your sight-reading skill. They are simple but brilliant!
Cut your practice time if you have been practicing for weeks and still can't get the piece or song memorized. It's that simple, practice for a shorter time and see how your hard work is paying off. If you haven't noticed yet, it is great to deliberate how long you spend practicing. If you spend too much time practicing, sooner or later, you will burn out and quit altogether.
To sum it up, the key is to stay motivated and organized with your practice. If you feel like you are getting nowhere, keep trying and don't give up. Practice is not an easy skill to master, but it is a skill. You can learn to become proficient at it by developing good habits, teaching yourself the right mindset, and being organized with your practice.