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How Often Should You Practice Piano?

piano - lady-playing-piano
Playing the piano can be relaxing and can change the mood of listeners and pianists alike as the soft, calming sounds come from the instrument. It can be awe-inspiring how gifted some pianists are when you hear them play around the world or even just in your local shopping mall. And, for the musically gifted, it can inspire you to want to become a pianist and alter people’s moods for the better as they listen to you play your songs. Of course,you will need to put in the time and the practice to become a great, or even a good pianist.

With the requirement of practice and dedication, one would first need to develop a schedule. And when you are first wanting to get started, you are so eager that you want to practice for hours on end every day and you think you will be able to sustain that for a long period of time.

I implore you to not go about it in this way. Instead, take a more practical approach, like you did when you were learning to read, or play a sport, or workout. Ease into your practice sessions and plan them so that each one has a purpose.

Practice Piano: Example Schedule

Let’s take a look at an example schedule in two week blocks. So, you have 14 days to choose from for sessions.

Monday through Friday, most people are busy during the hours of 8-4, let’s say, with adults more in the 9-6 range. So you need short, evening sessions on these days. On week nights, you go to hour long sessions. On weekends, most people have more free time, so maybe you opt for 90 minute or two hour sessions.

When you practice piano ,find what suits you for session length. It is generally accepted in any kind of practice or mentally engaging activity that after about 2 hours, the brain gets fatigued and needs time to recharge. Start with a beginning exercises, then go into that particular  lesson or topic.

Take a break to stand and stretch. And just like that, half an hour is already gone and you aren’t burnt out! Not to mention the fact that if someone told you could be a better pianist by practicing for merely half an hour a day, you would be hooked.

As far as a weekly plan, it is suggested that you take days off in your schedule to rest your muscles and yourbrain. Two to three off days a week never hurt anyone. So, over the course of the two weeks, maybe you practice piano on Monday and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and Sunday the first week, then practice Monday, Wednesday and Thursday  and Saturday the next week.

This way, you have set up a two day on, one day off schedule, which gives you aconsistent routine and allows you to build with each lesson.

 

Piano - Hands-on-Keyboard5

Of course, you may run into unforseen circumstances, so tweaking may have to occur, or you may need to keep the same schedule every week. In that case, I would practice  piano MWF, and Saturday. This way, your weekend is really when you push to better your skills in playing the piano when you aren’t drained by school or work. With your enhanced focus, you will certainly begin picking up that new song in no time!

Another important thing to consider while practicing is to set goals. Sometimes learning a new skill is a struggle and causes stress. Develop short term and long term goals for your sessions, that way you can strive to meet them.

Maybe the first week you are going to master the movements necessary to hit certain keys in succession, without worrying about what song or tune you are playing. Then, maybe your long term goal is to turn those movements into a song, learning how to glide your hands into position as you play.

Start with an easy song to play. Maybe a month in, you want to be able to play one song of your choosing. These little goals every day and every week or so will help keep you motivated and striving for piano greatness!

Lastly, make deals with your parents or with your spouse or partner. Nothing is more motivating than extrinsicrewards. Whether it is a nice dinner out,  or that new toy or game you have been wanting, or whatever makes your gears spin, you will be determined to practice piano effectively and learn how to play those songs or keys.

In short, just remember to keep your stress levels down and your determination up. By giving yourself days off, you are letting yourself rest and participate in things outside of piano, which will keep your interest aligned and you won’t burn out.

Planning mini lessons into your lessons with breaks in between will help keep you sharp. And finally, setting goals will allow you to focus on them rather than just the piano, giving you a mission to accomplish each day, week, or month. You’ll be playing your favorite classics or your newest pop song in no timeflat!