“I ALREADY KNOW THAT!?!” Is this your mental response to your piano teacher? If it is than it’s time for you to move on! I was in this situation not long ago. My worries and probably yours too are;
#1. Am I through learning? Is that all I’ll ever know?
#2. Do I have the discipline to make myself continue to practice and improve?
Well, no to the first one and yes to the second! The truth is you will never stop learning until you tell yourself you don’t want to go further. And if you truly want to improve you will make yourself be disciplined and practice!
The good thing about it now is you can practice to fit around your schedule! Here are a few steps to being more disciplined.
Step 1. Decide how many days a week you are going to practice.
Now, this varies by person, I found it best to practice every day, even if only for a little while. If I waited longer than a day sometimes I would have to start over learning a piece because my mind had disconnected with my hands. ( This happens frequently in other cases too)
Step 2. Decide how long you’ll practice each session.
It was alot easier for me to keep on schedule if I had an allotted time to stick too. I would suggest if you want to practice for thirty minutes, give yourself forty five minutes. Those extra fifteen give you time to play around, and playing around is important! I learned bunches of new stuff just by playing around ( or Experimenting). I would try to pick out a song I heard on the radio or a movie or just play some of my favorites and enhance them.
Step 3. Make up a schedule for each week.
Say, I’m going to practice this piece for ten minutes, do scales for five, then go back and practice the first one again. Have a schedule kept conveniently on your piano and try to mainly stick to it. It’s OK to vary now and again, but mainly keep on your schedule.
Step 4. Play when it’s not your regular practice time.
This allows you to relax and maybe loosen up your fingers on some old ones you haven’t played in awhile. It’ll help you play better if your having trouble with a piece. The piano becomes your friend again and not your enemy! Then you go back to the hard piece the next day or whenever and it’ll flow easier.
Step 5. Set goals.
This may be the most important step of all. Because goals make you motivated! Pick out a piece and say, “I’m going to have this learned by next week, or next month.” And stick to it! It may not be easy but you’ll be glad you did.
Step 6. Reward yourself.
Last but not least try to reward yourself when you get a piece down. Go out for ice cream, rent your favorite movie, splurge on some new shoes. Do something that makes you feel good. And then show someone, your husband, wife, brother, mom, uncle.. just show someone! And be proud of yourself!
Those steps are the basics to Do-it-yourself-piano-learning! They worked for me! I am now the pianist at my church and can easily pick up a tune and play! You can too! Just remember stick to your plan and have a good time doing it!