In this day and age, people are often looking for a shortcut to achieve something. Whether to lose weight, get in shape, or sleep better, the modern-day “hack” of finding an easier way is very fashionable. In wellness circles, this term is called “Biohacking”. It means using technology and the latest research to make you look, feel and perform better than the average person.
So how does this relate to the piano? And is it possible to achieve meaningful skills by finding a shortcut? First- we better define what we mean when we say being able to play. Stefan Joubert explains being able to play as being at grades 4-5 (note that he is generalising and this is obviously not a hard-and-fast-rule!). However, for yourself, this may be something else. Do you want to be able to read music, play jazz or learn the notes and follow along on YouTube piano songs (this is tougher than it looks, by the way!).
In terms of learning quickly, well, again, this is a tricky one. What can you do in six weeks or six months? The outcome depends on how much quality time you spend rehearsing. It may be six months of practice, but there is a significant difference after doing one hour per day versus one hour per week. Sensible practice and dedication have always been the order of the day.
Whatever your goal, however, there is a secret hack to get you where you want to go as fast as possible. Are you ready? It is called WORK. Alas, there is no genuine shortcut to laying the foundations in the brain and fingers to reach an accomplished level. Of course, there is smart work and doing the right things in the correct order, but the more you perform, the better you become. This is a refreshing thought when you think about it. You don’t need to worry about missing out on any secret or latest hack to get better. Of course, you best have the right coaching to ensure you are practising correctly (S & C Piano, hello) and have the proper guidance, but at the end of the day, it is all down to you.
So what are you waiting for?
“People look for the shortcut. the hack… The shortcut is a lie. The hack doesn’t get you there… There is no easy way. There is only hard work, late nights, early mornings, practice, rehearsal, repetition, study, sweat, blood, toil, frustration, and discipline…There is only one way. The way of discipline.” Jocko Willink
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