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Aug 17 / Greg

Getting the best value from your piano lessons

Scale Practice RhythmsGetting the best value from your piano lessons involves practicing the piano daily and importantly, practicing as soon as you can after your lesson.

Even a 24-hour delay can result in you forgetting as much as 20 per cent of the instructions given in the lesson.

Playing music scales daily should be as much of a habit as an athlete’s warm-up exercises.

Varying scale practice is essential to keep the mind sharp and focused.

Rhythmic variants are one good way to do this.

When using the examples shown in this image, take care to play the fast notes with the same tone ‘depth’ as the long notes.

The piano is a responsive instrument and gives back what you put into it. If you attack it with a hard touch, it will respond with a harsh tone. It rests with you whether the piano shall be a musical instrument or not.

The piano is a thing of joints; the action is so delicately adjusted that it moves with absolute freedom and ease. The player adds another joint, which should equal in ease and adjustment the ones already there.

One of the most necessary things is the conserving of vital energy in piano practise, The wrong way is to continually practise the piece as though you were playing it with all possible energy and emotion. Pieces must be played with concentrated control at a slow speed including all instructions and markings being incorporated but it is an error to always include fortissimo or extende forte passages – they should be practiced separately and not overly repeated; such repetition will lead to fatigue and hardness of tone.

The greater amount of time for early to intermediate level students should be spent on the gaining of nuances of touch and tone production. This will not happen if one constantly plays forte and fortissimo.

At the very bottom and heart of this subject of practice and eventual degrees of mastery lies concentration: without that, little of value can be accomplished.

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Greg Norman’s Piano lessons and/or Music Theory lessons…
Styles: Classical, Modern
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Post-Graduate, AMEB/ABRSM exams
Suitability: Ages 7 years and up to any age, any experience level. Lessons are weekly.

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