January 15, 2016

About the Author: Stefan Joubert

Stefan Joubert manages the London Piano Institute, a premier destination for adult piano learners seeking individualised instruction and progress towards their musical goals. He believes anyone can learn to play regardless of age or ability!

Practise in a distraction free environment dedicated to practising the piano.


It is absolutely vital that you practice in the best environment possible.

It is also important to realise that you are responsible for your environment!

I suggest practising in a clutter-free environment where you can simply focus on practising the piano and nothing else.

Another tip – make sure you have a dedicated REAL metronome. Such as this one – AMAZON.

Avoid using your mobile phone or iPad as a metronome.

Otherwise, you will definitely get distracted with text messages and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.

A distraction-free environment – dedicated 100% to your practice session is the first key to success.

For each hour you practice, you want to make sure that your time is well spent.

You want to get a return on the time that you’ve put into your piano practice. (ROI)

Make sure that friends and family know that you are not to be disturbed during your piano practice sessions unless it is of the utmost importance.

Even a simple question can actually throw you off for 15 minutes or more. To avoid conversations during your practise session.

In order to make amazing progress, you simply cannot afford to have anything less than optimal.


Schedule your piano practice times

Schedule your piano practise

Scheduling your practice times is absolutely vital.

If you do not schedule dedicated piano practice times, you will end up practising far less than you planned.

I cannot emphasise this enough – you simply have to schedule SET daily practice sessions.

Remember in addition to having excellent quality piano lessons also need to schedule dedicated piano practice times.

If you do this you will become successful much quicker than not doing it.

If you feel frustrated with your piano playing, it is probably due to your piano practice schedule and discipline to stick to those times.

So join the elite stick to a dedicated schedule.

Stick to your piano practice times and be consistent in your approach


This is a bit of repetition of the previous point, but it is EXTREMELY vital!

If you can consistently practice on a dedicated time, you will see tremendous results piano playing.

My best piano students practice on a regular basis at a set time and day… MOST of the time.

In fact, if you want to achieve anything in any subject in life, being consistent and disciplined is key.

You need to be consistent in your approach and practice at the same time each and every day.

It is a well-known fact that practising every day for 30 minutes beats practising for hours on the weekend.

You simply cannot beat daily consistency.

Make sure that you incorporate this into your practice schedule.

Malcolm Gladwell in his hugely popular book – ‘Outliers’ introduced many of us to the (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26384712 ) 10,000-hour principle.

I firmly believe you can practice far fewer hours than the 10K number and still become an expert on the condition that you are consistent and practise in a disciplined manner.

About 4000 hours will usually REALLY set you apart from the rest… As long as you’ve practised in a consistent manner and practised for at least 5 years! (Yes the years also count… to become an outstanding pianist)

Always warm up before proceeding to do ‘HEAVY-DUTY’ piano practise

Warm up

Franz Liszt made virtuoso piano popular in the 19th century!

We now have many schools of virtuoso piano playing.

Developing tremendous technique when your instrument is a wonderful goal, but make sure that you always warm up properly before you proceed to heavy-duty piano practice!

The last thing you want to do is to hurt yourself or to overdo it.

There are countless stories of musicians were to stop playing due to injury.

According to BAPAM (British Association for Performing Arts Medicine) it is absolutely vital to warm up properly.

You can download a PDF document from BAPAM’s website here (IT IS WONDERFUL): http://www.bapam.org.uk/documents/A4DontCrampYourStyleWarmUps_BAPAMFactsheet.pdf

They advise musicians to take regular breaks and to even cool down after playing!

Never proceed to play scales at lighting speed without warming up.

Make sure you start out slowly…

Take great care of your fingers – you need them to play the piano!


Have specific goals for your piano practice schedule

Goals makes you grow

According to success giant Brian Tracy, only 3% of adults of clear, written, measurable and specific goals and according to him, they achieve 10 times as much as people with no goals at all!

That is an incredible fact!

Think about it for a while – if you have specific, time-bound, written goals your piano playing and you stick to them you will achieve 10 times more than you ever did before!

Due to this fact, YOU MUST set specific – measurable – time-bound goals for each and every practice session and routine.

If you are slack in this area, you have to accept that your results will be less than optimal.

Be a creature of habit and do the same thing in every practice session

Top priority

Prof. Josias van der Merwe (Head of Culture & Arts of Technicon Pretoria and examinator and professor at UNISA), who is an absolute (WORLD CLASS) master at teaching and playing the piano always follows the same habits during his lessons and practice.

In my private piano lessons with master instructor Josias Van Der Merwe, lasting three hours in total at a time, the first 90 minutes was dedicated to technique and the rest dedicated to the music.

We followed the same structure again and again… DAY IN DAY OUT!

Successful people always do the same thing day in and day out.

Dinu Lipatti, the amazing Romanian pianist practise each and every day… consistently including on Christmas. He stands head and shoulders above ANY of today’s concert pianists!

Practising the piano is not about being creative – is about becoming better at the art of playing the piano.

You, therefore, need to practice the piano in a consistent and reliable way to become the best that you can!


Only practice piano on the days that you eat!

Practise on the days you eat

This is quite a funny quote – but it is really true.

In order for you to become the pianists that you’ve always wanted to become, you need to practice on a daily basis.

You need to put in the effort daily and you will see the results.

Little by little your piano playing skills will grow and you will become the pianist you’ve always wanted to become.

So practise… practise… practise… and reap the rewards!

Learn how to work on the most important tasks first.

Whenever you practice a piece of music, it is CRUCIAL that you do not always start right at the beginning.

At times you need to work the piece from the middle. At other times you need to work on the ending bit.

In fact, you need to keep track of the difficult parts and work on them first.

You need to conquer difficulties and find solutions to problems.

So when you start working on your piano examination piece – make absolutely sure that you work on the difficult parts first.

It will pay.


Be disciplined

Practise the piano

Being disciplined means not having excuses.

Only a small percentage of people actually have discipline.

If you truly want to become wonderful at playing the piano, you will need to take courage and become a disciplined individual.

You will need to join the 3% of piano students make exceptional progress on a weekly basis.

You will need to give up television and even a night out in order to become the best!

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying you should not have any fun, I absolutely believe in having a good time, but you do need to follow your schedule and structure.

So don’t let anything hold you back – decided today that you are going to be disciplined and disciplined for life.

Decide today that you going to take your piano playing to the stars!

Decide today that you are going to put in the time required to achieve your goals.

You will be very glad you did!


Practising is investing into your musical future


An investor or an allocator of capital lays out sums today for a better return in the future.

He or she will usually do a lot of due diligence and look for a company far below its intrinsic value in a sector that is not glorious, but reliable such as Nestlé!

A good investor always insist on safety of principal and an adequate return.

In the same manner, you need to invest in your musical future.

In order to get an adequate return, you need to create dedicated piano practice times and sessions.

You need to go the extra mile and do what is necessary to achieve your goal.

You need to be one of the 3% of adults who have, specific, time-bound goals who achieve 10 times more than others.

You need to be the person who is willing to put in the full amount of effort required to achieve.

At times it may feel frustrating, and at times it may feel hard, but you’re paying a price – NO actually you are paying a privilege…

You’re paying a wonderful privilege to become an excellent pianist…

So pay the privilege and pay it in full.

Enjoy the fruits of your labour and make your BOLDEST piano dreams reality!

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