Learning piano despite your busy lifestyle

Playing piano is a great way to relax after a busy day, but what about when life seems just too busy for learning to play. Let us show you how you can learn to play regardless of how busy your life is right now, and best of all, it only takes 15 minutes a day.

Learning is Accumulative.

This applies to both mental AND muscle memory. The more time you spend working on a piano run, the more likely you are to remember how to play it – simple right!

So if you don’t have a lot of time in your day to spend on playing the piano you need to set yourself a long term goal and chip away at it in smaller, incremental chunks.

Just like a savings plan – if you put away what you can save regularly you WILL eventually reach your goal. BUT, as soon as you stop or become irregular with your payments, your saving comes to a halt. The key here is to remain disciplined and consistently achieve your daily session no matter how small.

Quality not quantity of learning.

Quality is the key. If you are short on time you need to make sure that the time you do spend on learning the piano is spent productively. That means, everything you do in your practice session has to be purposeful and ultimately moves you closer towards your goal.

Some people spend hours messing about on their piano (which is great if you have the time) for only small gains. If you make your sessions a period of intense focus where you commit yourself to pushing your boundaries you will see good improvement.

Frequency is the key.

Do it daily is the rule. If even for just a few minutes per day. The beauty of a daily learning session is that you rarely ever forget where you are at. Like reading a book a few pages a day – as soon as you pick it up again you quickly recall where you were yesterday and push on.

Just like reading a book, if you skip a day or two you’ll find it becomes much harder to pick up where you left off and hence your progress is slower.

Our lifestyles are becoming increasingly hectic. Everyone is juggling: family, work, study, kids, holiday, home improvements, health and fitness. The key to adding learning the piano to the mix and not throwing everything out of balance is to start small – 15 minutes a day is all it takes.

The 15 minute practice session.

It sounds incredible doesn’t it – ‘learn piano in 15 minutes a day’. Well, it is incredible. But let’s be straight about this – one 15 minute session won’t produce anything particularly mind blowing by itself.

The key is in the frequency. If you keep it up, 15 minutes a day will produce great results over time. So how do you do it? Well, its actually very simple – you segment your time into 3 distinct 5 minute blocks of time.

1. ‘Warm Up’ – 5 minutes to take what you learned in your last session and practice playing it. This reinforces what you’ve already learned and gets you warm.

2. ‘New concept’ – 5 minutes to study the next concept so you understand it and the fundamental requirements to play it. For example: if it were a new chord you would need to familiarize yourself with the shape and the notes within it.

3. ‘Practice’ – 5 minutes to take the new concept and apply it in practical way. For example: a new chord would be played in a progression.

If you structure your lessons like this you will be able to maximize your limited time by making it easy to pick up where you left off. Of course, you can apply the same format to longer sessions if you have the time.

Maximize your time with a learning plan.

Of course, having a learning plan, or a course of study is absolutely necessary if you want your learning time to be effective and efficient. Without it you will find yourself wading through piles and piles of information, both good and bad, wasting hours and hours of valuable learning time.

With a course of study you know where you are headed and how you are going to get there, so it’s not a problem when you need to end the session, because you can come back to it at any time and resume where you left off.

It is especially important when time is short and you can only spare a few minutes each day – that’s when you need the focus that comes from a prescribed course. If you haven’t already picked up a good course then you should definitely check out Rocket Piano.

Start adding 15 minute practice sessions to your day and see the results.

Posted by Jon Coursey

Sitting at the piano

Learning or re-learning (as the case may be), the basics never hurts. What can actually hurt is not having the correct posture when playing the piano. This is an extract from the Rocket Piano Beginners eBook:

Learning the Basics

I’m going to assume from the start that you have a piano to practice on. If you don’t have one, get one now! You can’t learn the piano without an instrument to practice on. Fortunately, even an inexpensive electronic keyboard will do for most of the exercises in this book.

Sitting at the piano:

When you are seated at the piano, you need to have the correct posture. Without the
proper posture, you can experience back pain and stress in your joints.

1. The first rule of correct posture is to keep your back straight. Your torso may bend towards the piano.

2. Keep your head up. DON’T crane your neck to look at the sheet music. The sheet music should be positioned for easy visibility.

3. Your shoulders and arms should be loose and relaxed. If you need to do some stretches beforehand, feel free!

4. Your arms should be parallel with the height of the keys and bend at the elbow in an angle of slightly greater than 90 degrees.

5. Your thighs should be parallel with the floor. To ensure this, you should use an adjustable chair.

6. Your right foot should be set forward towards the pedals, while your left foot should rest midway between the pedals and your chair.

7. Keep enough distance between your chair and the piano that you can reach the pedals and keys comfortably, yet have freedom of movement. If your chair is too close, your body will get in
the way of your elbows. If your chair is too far away, you will have to bend forward to reach the keys.

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All the best!