The way piano practise is scheduled matters.
Students who manage their piano practise schedule well also learn, in the process, to manage their daily schedule well. They practise less and achieve more because they’re more relaxed. This fosters better piano playing technique and helps students move to challenging repertoire easily.
The aim of good practise scheduling is to make piano practise time relaxed and unhurried, even when days are busy.
So here’s 7 Scheduling Tips that make daily piano practise relaxed, creative and effective
- 2 or 3 small practise slots are better than a single slot because students are more attentive after a break.
- Schedule longer slots than required. Students need time to relax between activities and may come to the piano late, then get so involved that they want to stay and play longer.
- Schedule an extra slot, so piano students have a choice when they’re not in the mood at the same time each day
- Creativity grows from having time and mental space, and piano students sometimes need to sit around, idle before and after practise time. This time helps their mind absorb any innovative or creative moments during their practise, and retain it for the next session.
- Piano students need to explore their instrument on their own, outside of what is taught in class. It’s not wasting time, but rather, it’s a student using knowledge gained in piano class & piano practise, to explore his/her innate ability. It’s wonderful when this happens!
- Schedule practise holidays : One or two days each week (not consecutive days). Plus 3 consecutive days each month.
- On busy days, a little is better than nothing. Play, rather than practise, if there’s no time. Even 2 minutes with a section of a piece you enjoy.
- Don’t just schedule practise, make time to PLAY. Play your favourite pieces at the end of the day. Or play a line of music you like – just a minute in between some other activity. Play to relax, because that’s what learning the piano is about.
The importance of scheduling a practise holiday
Practise holidays are essential and diligent students often come back from practise breaks playing better. Scheduling the break gives students some time to just ‘BE’ or to do something different from the usual routine.
It’s that element of choice that brings freedom, creativity and passion to discipline of daily practise.
Teaching students to schedule their piano practise, and teaching parents how to help their young children with this, is an important part of the role of the piano teacher.
Beginner students, and students moving on to higher levels of playing, or busier daily schedules need to know that this is an important part of their piano class.