Piano students ask, “what should I focus on in my practice sessions?” Here is my reply.
1. Pieces include the music assigned in class and a review of favourite works.
2. Studies address specific aspects of playing like dynamics, articulations, and balance.
3. Theory includes key signatures, time signatures, terms, and rhythm. This helps us see and understand the patterns in the score. Furthermore, theory allows us to communicate, using the proper vocabulary, with other musicians.
4. Sightreading skills help us to quickly learn new music.
5. Ear Training is the ability to make sense of what we hear.
6. History includes knowing the broad historical, theoretical, and stylistic outlines of the music we are studying and our instrument's place in it.
7. Playing music with others is a great way to practice.
8. Scales, chords, and arpeggios train our fingers to execute, from memory, the building blocks of music, and give us a chance to practice playing beautifully.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.