Life Is Precious –Make Time for What’s Important to You

You invest hard work, money and time into piano lessons which mean a lot to you. Do you feel frustrated because you make the same mistake every time you play a certain piece of music? Are you tired of practicing certain songs over and over without seeing much improvement? Do you feel discouraged because you can’t remember how to play the song you learned last month – or even last week? If you’re like most pianists, you get your pieces to the finishing stage, but never completely polish them. I am aware of this problem; not only have I experienced it, but many students tell me that they have struggled with this issue. In order to help them overcome it, I started emphasizing the principle called: Repertoire at Every Level which is one of the core components of my TAP system. Let’s face it, in general, most people don’t follow through, and don’t even know why. Rather than dwell on the possible causes, please consider these suggestions. You can decide which pieces you really want to play with excellence. Work with your teacher to create a curriculum focused on music you really love. For example, a few of my students really like holiday music. So, we spend as much time as they want to in the fall for them have plenty of songs to play for family and friends during the season. Other students who love Broadway Shows, focus on creating a medley of their favorites from a specific show, over time. More than a few of my students truly enjoy playing jazz standards, including learning to improvise because they love Oscar Peterson’s style of piano playing. My students have a say in they're learning, because at the heart of it, music is part of their identity. Making musical selections is critical to your piano playing. Your choice at the beginning of the process will help you to prioritize what you practice each day. When you have a strong enough reason for polishing your piece, you will be motivated to practice it until you master it. This will keep you determined to persevere and overcome distractions and discouragement. Getting it just right becomes a delight because it’s about you. You might also memorize the song, because this will help you to “own” it. Record yourself and listen for areas which still need to be tweaked. Include this song when you review your repertoire. Experiment by placing it in different spots on the list. This will increase your confidence. Remember, when it comes to playing the piano, cramming simply won’t work. Although you may be able to get through a piece pretty well, perfecting it requires a much more time to mature, but what also matures is your musicianship. A good teacher can help you create a plan for both learning and refining the song. If playing the piano is really important to you, then sign up for an introductory lesson or one of our special electives.