A bit of homespun advice about your piano practice:
Each practice session begin with a scale and arpeggio. Choose a different key each time. Remember to play smoothly, in time and with an even tone – these are the 3 things to look for. I appreciate this is not an attractive task (you can make it attractive and look forward to it.) However it builds strong technique. Exercises are not exactly an attractive proposition but if you want to improve then it’s a habit that needs to be cultivated. Someone once told me that to create a habit it takes 21 days, so try it… so for the next 21 days do your exercises before anything else.
When we play the piano to play we often do 2 things: a) play for pleasure, go over our favourite-of-the-moment pieces, and b) practice new ones. I can’t emphasis enough that if you want to advance and play more challenging and beautiful pieces you must spend at least 50% of your practice time working on new pieces. Call it “the 50% rule” if you like and please try it. At each practice start with exercises, then practice the new pieces, then finish off with the things you love.
The comedian and broadcaster Alistair McGowan started playing the piano again in his thirties, and will play his first recital in a celebrity Christmas Gala in December. He claims he started playing the piano when living with a former girlfriend, because she took so long to get ready he spent the time waiting to practice.
This video course is available free of charge (yes, it’s FREE) from the Curtis Institute. There is an app called Coursera available for watching them. It is an excellent course on one of the greatest bodies of music ever composed.
Many thanks to Julia, Jessica, Sue, Trevor, Sam, Stephen and Wayne who all played beautifully at the annual adult social concert last night. The music ranged from Bach to Einaudi and much fun was had by all!