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Piano Lesson Myth: Practicing means playing a piece from start to finish over and over.

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Myth: Practicing the piano means playing a piece from start to finish over and over again. When learning to play a piece, it makes sense that you would play it from start to finish. You want to make sure that you can play through the piece to perfection and while you?re doing that, you?re probably learning to practice notes.

Fact: Practicing the piano is not only playing a piece over and over. That?s just learning to play a piece. To effectively practice, students need to learn notes, practice measures and learn the basics. Otherwise, you?re just learning the one piece and when you try to play another piece, you?ll have to start all over again.

In order to efficiently learn to play a piece, you need to lay the groundwork first. Take your time when practicing, practice one measure at a time and focus on the ones that give you trouble and try to play with one hand. All of these things will ensure you?re actually learning to play the piano and not just learning to play one piece.

Eventually, you?ll be able to play through any piano piece from start to finish with ease.

More piano lesson myths:
Piano lesson myth: I haven?t played piano in years and now I have to start over.
Piano Lesson Myth: Mistakes are okay because I am just beginning to play the piano.
Piano Lesson Myth: My hands are too small to play the piano.

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All About Group Piano Lessons!

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What are group piano lessons?

Group piano lessons are piano lessons that involve multiple students of similar age and skill level. If the lessons are for one family of young children, often times, only one piano is needed and the students will sit and learn together. If there are multiple students in a larger setting, multiple pianos or keyboards will be needed as three or more students cannot comfortably play and learn on the same piano.

Are group piano lessons right for my children?

Group piano lessons on one piano typically work best with smaller children and only two students should be on the piano at one time. Students need to be able to comfortably sit at the piano together and that does not work well with more than two students.

Group piano lessons also work best if the students are all at the same skill level. If one child has already had two years of lessons and the other is a beginner, then the lessons will have to cater to the beginner.

The difficult part about group piano lessons is that the children need to stay focused, as there will not be as much individual attention. If you know your children cannot concentrate when they are together, you will be wasting your money with group lessons, as the children most likely will not learn much.

Are there any benefits to group piano lessons?

Group piano lessons can be beneficial for young students that might not be able to focus for a 30-minute lesson. If your children are young and cannot focus for longer periods of time, then having their sibling next to them learning can be motivation to do well. Time will go by quicker for the student if they are not alone.

Group piano lessons are also great for students who are easily discouraged. If only one student is taking lessons and he/she is not seeing any progress, he/she could become discouraged and want to quit lessons. With group lessons, both students would see that they are progressing at the normal rate, even if they aren?t making much progress.

Children who might be shy about playing piano in front of others will quickly overcome this fear if there is always another person sitting next to them. Group piano lessons can be a great way to overcome stage fright!

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It?s December; time to tune the piano.

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Piano owners know that a piano should be tuned twice a year (once a year at the very least) to keep the piano at top performance. But do you know the best times to tune your piano? A good rule of thumb is two weeks after you turn your heat on in the winter and two weeks after you turn it off in the spring.

Why are those the best times to tune your piano?

Well, here are some reasons why your piano will need to be tuned:
–Humidity changes
–Temperature changes
–Heavy hands
–Frequent moves

Humidity and temperature changes affect the tune of the piano more than anything else. When the seasons change, specifically from fall to winter and winter to spring, the humidity levels severely change in your home. Less moisture in the air shrinks the wooden structure of the piano causing it to lose its tune. Similarly, when you turn off your heat in the spring and moisture is back in the air, your piano will soak up the new moisture and the wood will swell. This also causes the piano to drift out of tune.

There are some ways to maintain moisture in your home, which could mean that you can tune your piano any two times per year. However, if you?re planning on trying to regulate the humidity for instrument care, make sure you are up for the challenge. Your humidifier needs to be constantly monitored to be sure it does not dry out. You also need a thermometer to monitor the temperate and humidity to make sure the levels are consistent. If you forget about your humidifier, then the levels will severely drop causing more harm to your piano than the gradual climate shift that happens naturally.

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Piano lesson myth: I haven?t played piano in years and now I have to start over.

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Myth: Since I haven?t played the piano in years, now I have to start from the beginning again. If you haven?t played the piano in years and you decide to sit down and play some Chopin one day, probably you won?t play as well as you used to (if you can still play at all). There are some things that you can pick up after not having done in years, like riding a bike or a horse. However, there are a lot of things that you can?t just pick up again, like doing cartwheels or double dutch jump rope. If you?re trying to play the piano again for the first time in years, then it may seem like playing the piano is something you have to learn all over again. Your fingers might be stiff and unable to reach a full octave or you may have forgotten the fingering for several notes. But that doesn?t mean you have to completely start over.

Fact: As with many things, you may have forgotten some of the basics overtime, but as soon as you get back into it, you?ll pick things right back up again. Taking some refresher piano lessons would be a good idea to help you remember the basics quicker, but it isn?t necessary. All you need to do is take some time to go over the basics and practice daily. It may feel like you?re starting over, but think about how long it took for you to learn these techniques in the first place; definitely not as long as it?s taking you now.

If you?re fingers are stiff and you feel like you just can?t master the fingerings, you just need to relax and stretch. Think about when you take off a few months (years) from the gym and decide to get back into it. You?re not going to be able to run ten six minute miles right away; you?re going to need to build up to it. Take your time and relax your hands and fingers. Your entire hand doesn?t need to be firm and press the keys; only your fingertips need to do the work. The more you practice the more nimble your hands and fingers will be.

More piano lesson myths:
Piano Lesson Myth: Mistakes are okay because I am just beginning to play the piano.
Piano Lesson Myth: My hands are too small to play the piano.
Piano Lesson Myth: I Have to Practice Everyday.

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Making the Most of Music Lessons

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Music lessons can be an expensive investment; you have to pay for the instrument and materials that go along with it, upkeep, lessons etc.? With the money you?re spending on lessons, it?s definitely a good idea to make sure you?re making the most of each lesson!

Here are some tips to make the most of music lessons.

1. Begin music lessons at the right age.? Adults can begin lessons at anytime because their success is based on their dedication.? For children, they need to be mentally and physically able to play an instrument.? Starting a three year old out with vocal lessons isn?t a great idea because they aren?t developed enough to get everything from the lessons.?
2. Take private in home music lessons.? With group lessons or lessons in a classroom setting, students do not get much one-on-one time.? If you?re trying to get the most you can out of each music lesson, private lessons are the way to go.
3. Make sure you have a qualified instructor.? If you want to learn to play the piano like a professional but you?re getting music lessons from someone only qualified to teach beginners, then you won?t progress past beginner level.? Not qualified instructors could also teach you bad habits, which would be hard to break later.? It?s best to learn from a qualified instructor from the beginning if you would like to progress quickly and efficiently.
4. Use practice time wisely.? Don?t sit and practice your instrument in front of the TV or try to cram in practice right before bed.? Set aside designated time each day to practice your instrument and always practice in the same place.? If you?re practicing at the same time in the same place, practice will become routine.
5. Have fun!? If you hate practicing or taking music lessons, then you?re not going to want to progress.? Try finding a different teacher that uses different techniques before giving up on lessons.? Sometimes a new teacher can make things fun again!

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Should you buy a used piano? Pros and Cons

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The value of a piano depends on many factors. Sometimes you can get a great deal by buying a used piano and you may even like it better than a new one.

Here are some pros and cons to buying a used piano.

Pros:
-The sound of a quality piano ages well. If you can get a quality piano that has been kept well, it should have a nice tone rather than a contrasting tone that can happen with newer poorly made pianos.
-You could get a great piano for a great price! Some people are in such a rush to sell their piano that they will sell it for a low price to ensure it sells quickly. This can be great because you could be getting a nearly new piano for a fraction of the cost.
-Piano history can be mysterious and be a great conversation starter. Pianos can last upwards of 60 years if properly maintained and think about what a great history that could have!
-They won?t break the bank. This is a given but used instruments are cheaper than new ones. Remember that if a deal seems too good to be true, that it probably is. Keep an eye out for signs of piano damage before purchasing.

Cons:
-Cheap used pianos may be cheaply made or poorly maintained. Not everyone knows how to take care of a piano and they may not know what they are selling. Just because the instrument looks nice on the outside, there could be interior damage rendering it useless.
-While the piano may be cheap, the repairs might not be. Beware when purchasing a used piano of the repair costs that go along with it. When buying any piano, you should always have it tuned and checked out by a piano technician, which can be very pricey.
-Older pianos may not have a lot of life left in them. Older pianos have been through a lot in their lifetime: frequent moves, infrequent tunings, climate changes etc. All of these things can increase the amount of stress on a piano shortening its lifespan.

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Piano lesson myth: I never play my piano so I don?t need to tune it.

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Myth: Since I never play my piano, I don?t have to tune it. This seems logical, if you?re not playing an instrument, then why should you tune it.

Fact: Pianos need to be tuned regularly whether or not they are being played. In order to understand why you need to tune your piano regularly, it?s important to understand why you need to tune your instrument at all.

Why tune your piano:
Pianos need to be tuned because of the high string tension. This causes the strings to stretch and go flat. Regardless of whether or not your playing it, the string tension will always be there.

Your argument might still be that since you?re not going to play your piano at all, then you don?t care if the pitch is flat. However, if you ever want to sell your piano at a good value, then you need to take proper care of it! If your piano is left un-tuned and flat for too long, the piano may not be able to handle the stress of taking the strings back up to standard pitch. Essentially, not tuning your piano for long periods of time destroys your piano making it unable to play or sell.

A good rule of thumb is to tune your piano every six months or twice a year. Six months is the longest a piano should go without being tuned because that?s how long it takes before interaction between the strings occurs making it nearly impossible to tune. That means that when you?re tuning one string, the tension becomes too much for that string to handle and the strings around it (that might have just been tuned) lose their pitch.

Don?t fret if you go more than six months without tuning your piano, the damage is most likely reversible, it?s just going to take longer to bring your piano back to good health.

Similar articles:
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How to Identify Piano Practice Mistakes

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In an earlier article, I discussed how there is no excuse for making mistakes during piano practice and there isn?t. However, things can get tricky if you don?t know where or why you?re making mistakes. We play the piano how we practice, so if you?re learning to play the piano while making mistakes then you will play in front of people making mistakes.

ere are some ways to tell why you are making piano practice mistakes.

First, discover where you are making piano mistakes.

Are you simply skipping notes or missing keys? Or are you forgetting a technique or how to play a note?

If you?re missing notes and fumbling through pieces: Slow down! This is a clear indicator that you?re simply playing too fast for your skill level and need to slow down and learn the piece better. Break the piece down into smaller parts and work through the more difficult parts of the song first. If you keep starting from the beginning and fumbling over the same parts and then starting over again, you?ll master the beginning of the piece and never get to the ending. If you break down a piece, you?ll be able to play each part and then put it all together. If you?re having trouble playing through a piece at normal speed, but you?ve already mastered each part individually, play the piece through more slowly. Once you can play the piece slowly, begin to speed up until you can play through the piece perfectly.

If you?re making mistakes that have to do with the more technical side of piano playing, like forgetting how to play a note or having memory issues, you don?t know the music well enough and need to spend more time with the basics. Spend some time away from the piano and practice. That?s right. Don?t sit at your piano and try to practice your sight-reading or ear training. Go into the living room and sit down and focus at the task in front of you. Simply slowing down and trying to work through your mistakes probably will not work in this case since you do not know the basics. You may be able to work through one piece, but if you don?t learn the basics, then you?ll continue to have trouble with the same issues.

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Piano Lesson Myth: Mistakes are okay because I am just beginning to play the piano.

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Myth: Mistakes I make are okay because I am a beginner and just started playing the piano. Beginning piano players will often move past and excuse their mistakes because they feel it?s okay since they are just starting to learn to play the piano. Think about all the other things you started learning and how often you made mistakes, like missing a basket in basketball practice or tripping during a track meet. Since those mistakes are excusable, it seems logical that piano practice mistakes are normal as well.

Fact: If you?re making a mistake while practicing piano, it?s because you?re going too fast or not paying attention. Everyone will make mistakes at first, it?s only natural, but if you keep making those mistakes, you?re not learning. Once you make a mistake during piano practice, start over and slow down. Don?t allow yourself to make the piano mistake and don?t just move past it hoping you?ll get it right the next time. Make sure you get it right the next time!

Slowing down may not seem like it will solve all your problems, but think about typing on a computer keyboard. Odds are, when you first started out, you were not typing 90 words per minute with no errors. You started out slowly, taking your time to make sure you hit all the right keys. Probably even today, if you?re typing on a computer keyboard and you find yourself making lots of mistakes, you can slow down and type with no errors. The piano is the same. If you?re having trouble and making lots of mistakes, then you simply need to slow down and focus. Once you?ve mastered the piece and a slower pace, then you can bring it up to speed.

More piano lessons myths:
Piano Lesson Myth: My hands are too small to play the piano.
Piano Lesson Myth: I Have to Practice Everyday.
Music Lesson Myth: I can?t learn to play the piano well because I only have a keyboard.

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10 Piano Practice Tips

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There are lots of ways to maximize your piano practice time. With all the other activities you or your children are involved in, finding time to efficiently practice can be difficult.

Here are some piano practice tips to make sure you are practicing efficiently and using your time to maximize results.

1. Create a practice area. Make sure your area is clear of distractions and is someplace comfortable where you can practice daily.
2. Get organized! Not only should your piano practice materials be in order, your piano practice schedule should be organized as well. If you?re having trouble figuring out what to practice, your piano instructor will be able to help you create a practice schedule.
3. Don?t become discouraged. Everyone struggles with piano lessons and piano practice at one point or another. The key to success is to not get discouraged and realize that even if you?ve hit a plateau, you will begin progressing again soon.
4. Dedicate time to piano practice. Set aside time each day when you know you can practice. If you don?t have time to practice or you aren?t focused on the instrument, then don?t practice. If you?re practicing in the wrong frame of mind, you can pick up bad habits and not progress at all.
5. Focus on one area of study at a time. If you?ve been trying to get through a Mozart piece for the past couple practice sessions, don?t move onto another composer before you?ve finished this piece. While it might be nice to take a break from a piece, going back and forth between composers and pieces will waste more time.
6. Always warm up! Take a few minutes before each piano practice session to warm up by playing a few scales.
7. Don?t make mistakes! Everyone will make mistakes when they?re starting out, but once you?ve been taking lessons for a while, mistakes happen because you?re being careless or going too fast. If you make a mistake, stop, start over and slow down.
8. Break it down. If you?re playing a piece but constantly getting stuck on one part, break the piece up. Don?t keep playing from the beginning and starting over if you?re constantly messing up in the same place. Take the section you?re having trouble with and practice that separately until you master it.
9. Keep a piano practice log. Not only of the time you practice, but also of what you practiced and what you had trouble with. You may think that you?ll remember how you overcame a difficult piece or a tip you just learned, but keeping a practice journal will ensure you remember everything you do.
10. Don?t only practice with the piano. Some things can be done without the distraction of the piano. If you are trying to work on ear training or analyzing a piece, step away from the piano and give the task your full attention. This will also help you learn to practice when you do not have access to a piano.

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