If you're an adult and beginning piano lessons for the first time, or restarting after a while, then you need to avoid these 2 major traps when it comes to learning piano.
The first TRAP is Discipline. So as yourself, do you have a proven track record of discipline? Because if you don't, it's going to be an issue. Even if you're paying for lessons out of your own pocket, trust me when I can say you'll be able to find a way to skip practice sessions. Even though I had adult students paying me good money, they would consistently show up unprepared. They wouldn't even have the discipline to sit down for 5 minutes a day! So if you're not disciplined, make sure you get this area handled.
The second TRAP is much more difficult because they're Bad Habits. They're unconscious behaviors we've picked up since childhood, or bad learning habits which have been conditioned into us (from school). There's no easy answer for this, the only activity I can suggest is what's helped me: Self Reflection. This might be an uncomfortable activity, but sit down for 10-15 minutes every day with a pen and paper. Really think about your entire life up to this point. What are things you believe? What behaviors are you holding you back? The hardest part is they're unconscious, so you might not even KNOW what's holding you back. But any psychological "baggage" you're able to let go will really help lighten the burden or heaviness you might feel when it comes to learning piano.
For more general tips on how to get the most out of your piano lessons, make sure to check out How to Find a Good Piano Teacher
If you're looking for advanced finger independence exercises for piano, the only book you'll ever need is Isidor Philipp's "Exercises for Independence of the Fingers." (2 Books)
The benefits are over 20 pages of exercises in one book alone. You'll also be able to apply each exercise to all keys (transposition).
The cons are this is not a quick fix. It may take some time to see improvement. It can get repetitive and boring. The exercises are in "fixed" positions, meaning you won't be playing beyond an octave (most of the time). There's also no concrete, scientific evidence it's even worth it to practice these exercises. And you might also become too "mechanical" in your playing.
If you're going to use this book, my advice is to make sure this is just a supplement to your main technique practice. You should also be doing scales, arpeggios, etudes and ear training. With so many finger independence exercises to choose from, you really only need to stick to a few at a time. You can also randomly flip to a page and practice whatever's on there as well. Practicing your non-dominant hand (left hand for right handers, right hand for left handers) specifically. Lastly, make sure to practice musically (phrasing, dynamics).
Book 1 ?https://amzn.to/2wfQjn4
Book 2 ?https://amzn.to/2MWCTUg
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What is the simplest and easiest piano exercise for finger independence? Before the answer, it's important to know what finger independence is, why you need it, and when you need it?
Finger independence is basically the ability to control each finger. It's the key to a great, relaxed technique. It's having the mechanics and coordination to play whatever you want and how you want. Also, benefits to finger independence include injury and playing faster.
When should you study this? When you're prepping for advanced music or already playing, when your note and rhythm accuracy is on point but your playing is lacking, or when your hands and fingers are stiff ("sticky" fingers).
The hard thing is how boring this one simple exercise can be. So make sure to practice in a variety of ways. You can play in all the major and minor keys, hold down more than 1 finger at a time, play with different rhythms, play scales and arpeggios, practice with different rhythms, use the actual music you're practicing, and lastly you can practice without a piano.
If you attempt this make sure to use extreme caution. Start small, do very short sessions. Be careful not to injure yourself (it can happen). And remember to be patient, this can potentially take years to master.
What is the 1 skill that every piano teacher needs? It's Empathy. Without this skill they will completely fail.
Zig Ziglar said that before people care about you, you must care about them. Emotional connection comes first so don't try to initially sell people on your skillset (logic).
With empathy, you'll be able to avoid miscommunications and overcome conflicts. Even if you're not good in the first place, trust me when I tell you people will stick with you for the long term. They'll come along for the ride.
Just remember that empathy is a skill which is totally learnable. Study people's communication styles and body language. People watch when you're out. Over time you'll begin to see patterns and gain experience. This 1 skill can be the key difference between success and failure in your piano teaching career.
How do you make progress FOREVER at piano? Today, I shared some intermediate piano practice tips for continual improvement.
If you're not at the intermediate level, the first goal is to continue to practice until you get to this level. Because there are two problems standing in your way: the choice in repertoire is very limited and you spend your time practicing only one piece/song at a time. In order for this approach to work you must be able to handle several pieces at a time (hence, intermediate level).
So for the intermediate pianist, make sure you choose your pieces according to "timeframe." The traditional approach to studying several pieces at the same level doesn't work so well, because it's like trying to climb several mountains at once. What I recommend is practicing pieces that fit day-to-day, weekly, monthly, several months, and half-year to a full year. Of course you don't have to follow this program exactly and can adjust for your own specific needs.
Why this works well is: 1. You will always be making progress at one level or the other 2. You can consistently work on new material (even if it's not that difficult, that's okay) 3. It keeps it fresh, so you're actually able to practice longer 4. Although you will have much more fluctuations, over time you end up making way more progress than the traditional way.