Practicing Piano Is An Art In Itself

Sarasota Piano Lessons

Practicing Piano: Is It Always A Joy?

Practicing PianoWhen it comes to practicing piano, does it seem like a chore just to get around to it? Whether you, as an adult, are experience the “piano practicing blues” or your have a child plagued with the same issue, the matter deserves some attention.

So, where do you place this attention? If it’s your youngster you’re having the challenge with, do you repeatedly resort to admonitions like, “Did you practice today? If you’re not going to put time into this, the lessons are going to stop.” As an adult student, is your most powerful incentive for sitting down at that piano or keyboard of yours simply because you think you should?

None of this may apply to you or your family situation. If not, terrific. But if you’re investing in lessons and not putting time in at home (or your child isn’t), what’s the real deal here? Why is this whole idea of practicing looked upon as a job of sorts? Why is it an effort at all to sit down and practice?

It’s kind of strange when you think about it. Before those lessons begin, something sparked the idea that you or your kid wanted to play. So, you said, “Ok, let’s give it a go.” The excitement was kind of like what one feels on the way to a carnival. Once you turned the whole thing into a weekly lesson arrangement and lesson assignments were issued, then what started out as a zest for wanting to play turned into an activity that’s looked upon with about the same enthusiasm as having to cut the lawn. So, what’s it all about, Alfie?

Some might say, “Well, I thought it would be a good thing to do but, after a few weeks, it wasn’t what it all chalked up to be.”

If that sounds familiar, then a red flag is up and it’s up to you to acknowledge it for what it is – an opportunity for you to re-evaluate the situation. For one thing, if you’re going to make judgments after a few weeks of piano lessons that reflect negative feelings, something happened. It might not be obvious. But something was responsible for that spark becoming extinguished. It would serve you well to look at this whole thing objectively. You can’t know if you like it after being involved with it for a few weeks. You’re not enough of an authority on the subject yet.

Firstly, is the teacher the right one for you or your youngster? What’s the rapport like? What’s the energy like during those lessons? Are those appointments looked forward to? Look closely enough at the issue and you’ll find that something or someone got in the way of the positive energy that was initially flowing. It might not be the teacher. It simply could be how the student responds to the very idea of “having homework.” The word “homework” or “assignment” has an automatic negative connotation for some people. The very idea that “I have to do it” or “I should do this” often serve as emotional triggers which can activate a whole domino effect of more negativity.

Hey, “Teach”…

Secondly, are you communicating with the piano teacher about this matter? It’s a mistake not to. A teacher who has the flexibility to adapt to a variety of personalities will be eager to listen and discuss this whole situation as an opportunity to promote music appreciation (and self appreciation). If that’s not the case, move to another instructor. Never base your decision to not continue lessons on one experience with one teacher. Not everyone “clicks” with everyone.

Let’s face it. Each and every person has his or her own “emotional buttons” and reasons for doing what they do. For example, if you are an adult raising a family and decided to take on piano lessons as a way to add balance to your life by having some fun with music and you have a teacher who crams you with pages and pages of material that is expected to be perfected on a weekly basis, you might immediately have a reason for resistance to such a learning approach (and who could blame you?). What if you really only want to devote three or four days at home to sitting down at that piano keyboard instead of every single day. Should that disqualify you from engaging in lessons? Some teachers would think so. But those that do likely have an attitude problem of their own.

Think Like An Artist

Practicing piano is an art… it really ought to be treated that way. As a painter who loves to paint, would you resist picking up the brush and making a few strokes on the canvas? Would you consider it a major inconvenience to do so? Not likely. You might walk over to your easel, put a splash of paint on your brush, make those few strokes, and leave to do other things. You simply felt inspired in the moment, you acted on it, and you got some satisfaction from doing that.

Why can’t learning a musical instrument be like that?

It can! Learning piano does not have to be a conditional experience. There are no expectations you really need to live up to (except those that you create yourself). If you aren’t able to adopt this kind of mind set with the teacher you’re currently taking those lessons from, then it’s time to either have a serious talk with that person or go on your merry way and look for another. Use it as a learning experience. You’ll certainly be equipped with appropriate questions for the next prospective teacher to help ensure that you’ll both be compatible.

Lighten Up And Enjoy Yourself

The main point here is that the entire experience, including taking lessons and applying yourself at home, ought to be nothing short of a positive one. You’re engaging in lessons to enhance your life, not to complicate it. Now, how about walking over to that piano or keyboard of yours and playing something with a smile on your face. One rule, though: thou shalt smile and not judge himself or herself while practicing. 

If it’s your child taking the lessons, then encourage him or her to adopt a very playful, fully self-accepting attitude about the whole idea of walking over to the instrument and playing something. If you do that, you are probably going to notice that those practice sessions are either longer or occurring more often… or both.