Piano with music

Piano practice essentials

Not sure how best to practise in between lessons? Here are some hints and tips:

  • Try to practise at the same time each day so that it becomes part of your routine. Practising little and often is far more effective than fewer, longer practice sessions.

  • Start with a quick warm-up to loosen up. Circle the wrists a few times, roll the shoulders and stretch out the back before your play. Make sure you feel comfortable (see How to sit at the piano). Perhaps try out some technical exercises to get your fingers moving.

  • Don’t always start at the beginning of a piece and work through to the end, focus on the parts that you find harder. Clap any tricky rhythms before you play them.

  • Practise slowly and with hands separately at first, then build up the tempo and bring hands together when you feel more confident.

  • Play through the scale and arpeggio of the piece a few times to help you identify patterns and the sharps or flats you need to remember.

  • You don’t always have to be at the piano to practise! Imagine the keys in front of you and practise the fingering on a table or your knee. This helps to build up your muscle memory. You can also listen to recordings of the music to help you really get to know it.

Remember to give feedback to your teacher, let them know what you have found difficult, what you have or haven’t had time to do and what you have enjoyed. It helps them to help you!