Practising the Piano
The first thing the child has to learn is, that practice means repetition. It is through repetition that music is learnt. There was a time when we first learnt to tie a shoelace, and it required great concentration and effort. After a while the action became a muscular habit, and we did not have to think about it anymore. So it is with piano playing: if we play a phrase enough times the fingers learn to do it automatically, without the conscious direction of the brain. Repetition is essential when learning anything new. It must not only be note repetition, but a repetition of tonal effects such as crescendo, diminuendo, rallentandos, staccato until they are felt correctly.
When the student is playing a piece and spoilt with bad stumbles, it is important to get to the root of the trouble, not practise the piece at the beginning and goes straight though several times, repeating the same mistakes at each performance. Whatever the difficulty, the student must deal with it first, and repeated many times until the fingers get the feel of it. When this has been done, the piece is played from the beginning.
Slow practice is very important, especially a quicker and more brilliant passage. Even when we'll known, certain sections will need a daily dose of slow practice if they are not to get 'out of hand.' If runs are uneven, it will be helpful to play them with varying accents.
Ensemble playing is a great incentive to practice, and an excellent training in musicianship. Piano duets are the most usual form of ensemble playing, and there is often a certain amount of healthy rivalry between partners, which spurs them on to greater effort. Two pianists will realize that they cannot even begin to play together until each has practised his own part well.
The beginner should not practise too long at first; the set work will probably not take more than fifteen to twenty minutes. Let the young pianist free to enjoy piano lessons and his music in any way he wishes as sometimes we have the anxiety to teach all things correctly from the start and loose sight of the fact that the child wants to 'play the piano'.
Enjoy practising the piano!