I posed a question to my students the other day:
“Why do piano students quit the piano within 30 days or less?”
If you didn’t see my answer, check out this video.
O.K. so armed with that information, how do you prevent becoming one of the majority of adults who only ‘wish’ they knew how to play the piano?
The secret lies in a student’s direction (or lack thereof) at the piano.
We all know that having a direction is extremely important. Without direction, we are lost.
Once example I love using with students is the gym. Have you ever walked into a gym filled with equipment and ask yourself “Now what?”
We can easily get overwhelmed by the amount of material presented to us. This is why I’ve found it absolutely imperative to limit the amount of material presented to students when they are starting out at the piano.
At first this might seem counter-intuitive right? Doesn’t it make sense for a piano teacher to give a lot of information to the student at first?
With over 25 years experience teaching a diverse group of students, I’ve learned that a good teacher knows what information to give and what information to hold back for a later lesson. This is why I created my Easy Piano Basics 90-Day Formula.
90-Day Piano Formula
My 90-day formula is pretty simple and guarantees that you will see real improvement at the piano as long as you are willing to practice at least 3-5 days a week.
- Days 1-14: practice the first 7 lessons. During this time focus on posture, releasing tension, learning the notes of the piano and practicing the grab technique.
- Days 15-30: practice lessons 8 to 11 while still reviewing the first 7 lessons. Try to increase your practice time to 15-20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Pay attention to posture and the grab technique. You should find your fingers getting stronger and you are becoming more dexterous.
After a few weeks you might start to feel "bored" or "antsy" and want to move through the lessons faster. I suggest that you do not. Going slow with EasyPianoBasics lessons will lay the groundwork for future growth. The entire program should take between 2 and 4 months to complete.
- Days 31-45: practice lessons 12 to 19. Before moving on to the next step, make sure you really understand the G- and F-clefs along with the Grand Staff.
- Days 46-60: practice lessons 20 to 24. Spend this time working through playing hands together slowly. At first you may think you can't do it...but you can! Go slow and be patient.
- Days 61-75: practice lessons 25-28. There are 2 things to really focus on during this 2 week stretch: 1) playing legato and 2) learning how to form major and minor triads.
- Day 76 - 90: finish the rest of the lessons focusing on vocalizing your rhythms. Be sure to go back and practice lessons 1-31 for the next few weeks before moving on to your next piano adventure.
I’ve found that this 90-day approach a fantastic way to keep my students motivated and focused.
I’d like to hear what you think. Share your thoughts. Have you quit the piano in the past and are now coming back? What challenges have you had at the piano?