1. Urge to express. Sharing the music you love with others is one of the greatest privileges in the world. What, exactly, makes the musical work you currently practice so appealing and inspiring? Strive constantly to develop your expressive means, decode the ”message” of the composer, and maintain an open channel to your own emotions while practicing.
2. Exploratory, creative mindset. Always look for fresh perspectives. Let your findings inspire you, and try to go deep inside the composition you play. Focus on dos, not don’ts.
3. Desire to learn new things. Have fun learning new pieces, mastering a new technical challenge, or brushing up on core skills like sight reading, ear training or music theory.
4. Determination to evaluate and improve. It is not easy to practice effectively. However, practicing is a skill that can be improved by experience and determination.
5. Planning and monitoring of progress. Decide in advance what you will learn next. Keep a practice journal. Record your playing.
6. Knowing the right ”dosage”. Break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. Don´t try to do accomplish too many tasks at once.
7. Concentration. Learn to focus on the task at hand and only that. Practice a lot, but not longer than you can without letting the mind wander. Focused practice is the only practice that counts.
8. Deliberate practice. Avoid mechanical, mindless repetition. Have a musically meaningful target in every repetition. Be ambitious. Try to stretch yourself beyond what you can currently do.
9. Use of effective strategies and methods. Good practice aims at improving aural perception, finding appropriate technical solutions, clarifying analytical understanding of how the piece is composed, and making an artistic statement. Practicing should always be a mental exercise. The mind plays the piano, not just fingers. One should also know all the possible methods of practicing. However, different methods tackle different problems, so choosing the right method is crucial.
10. Relentlessness. Keep on trying! If one method doesn’t work, just try another. Where there is will there is a way.
I would love to share some of my methods with you, if you like. Please let me know if this is interesting for you, too.