Whether you’ve just started learning piano or would like to brush up on your knowledge of piano techniques, here are some invaluable tips that I think you need to know.
Be willing to be stupid
Nobody likes looking stupid.
Reaching, failing, and reaching again is something that children are good at but it’s something that adults may have forgotten. A willingness to risk the emotional pain of making mistakes by reaching, failing and reaching again is how your brain grows and forms new connections.
Wayne Gretzky’s teammates often saw the star falling while he skated through drills on the ice. He is a good example of someone who was determined to improve and push the boundaries of the possible.
Don’t fall for the prodigy myth
A prodigy is someone who has early, instant and effortless success. This is not always true. Actually, research has shown that this is weak predictor of long-term success.
Many top performers are often overlooked early on, then quietly grow into stars.
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity team as a sophomore and Walt Disney was fired from an early job because he “lacked imagination”
A theory by Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University says that the praise and attention prodigies receive, leads to them to take fewer risks, which slows their learning.
Find the sweet spot
Just past your comfort zone is a place that’s right on the edge of your ability. Feelings of frustration, difficulty, alertness to errors are all signs that you are practicing in the sweet spot. If it makes you stretch with all your might to a nearly unreachable goal. The percentage of successful attempts should range from 50-80 percent.
Break down every move into chunks
This is a good technique because this accurately reflects the way our brains learn.
It’s tempting to regard practicing for one hour as a success in itself. The real goal isn’t practice, its progress. Don’t aim to just “work on” but to get one small section 100 percent correct.
Improving little by little is how our brains are built and seeing small improvements every day leads to lasting results.
Give a new skill a minimum of eight weeks
It’s the time it takes for your brain to create lasting changes when practicing meditation. It’s the length of many top level training programs around the world, including the Bolshoi Ballet and the Navy SEALs. In order to construct and hone new neural circuitry, you need time, no matter who you are. Vital tools you will need are resilience and grit especially in the early parts of learning. Even if you don’t see an improvement right away don’t get discouraged. Give your talent (aka your brain) the time it needs to grow.