Practicing the Piano S L O W L Y: What’s the Point?

Effective Piano Lesson Techniques

Whether you’re researching Bay Area piano stores or pricing out piano lessons for your 10-year-old daughter, you’ve been bombarded with different philosophies about how to teach and play the instrument. Here’s one intriguing philosophy – slow practice.

Here’s the basic idea: rather than play pieces at tempo, you deliberately slow them down, so that you can master the technical aspects at a level of intense self-awareness. Adherents of this philosophy swear it can lead to miraculous results, particularly for certain types of learners.

But there are pitfalls.

For instance, if you play too slowly, you might lose a sense of the underlying musicality and emotionality of the piece. You don’t want to plod from note to note in a discrete way: you need to feel the piece with your whole body and shape the music. If you use the slow practice method, and you’re getting disconnected from the music, try upping the tempo, incrementally.

You also want to consider using “chunking” — that is, feeling ahead to make sure that you’re expressing musical phrases effectively. Don’t get so lost in the fine details of your movements that you forget what emotions you’re trying convey, when, and why.

When you practice the piano at different speeds – especially starting slowly and getting faster – you can master some pretty intricate material that might otherwise prove to be overwhelming.

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For help in any part of the piano buying/training process – whether you’re scouting for pianos to get for a young prodigy or looking to rent a piano for school or a studio – please get in touch with the Pianos Plus team today for a free estimate. Call us at 510-581-1660 today!