I have found THE SECRET to drastically improve anyone’s piano playing in no time. Do you want to know what it is?
Of course you do.
And when you have it, you can improve ANY AREA* in your playing, whether if be your performance, technique, and even sight reading and aural ability.
What exactly is it?
Ok, I give you the secret here, and it is only one word.
Are you ready?
There you go. The secret is revealed.
“What? That’s it?”
Yes that’s it.
The principle is simple, but to achieve it might not be so.
Let me explain it further.
Focus is an essential component for anyone who wants to achieve greatness in anything he/she does. It is required in work, sports, reading, dance, and in this case, piano playing.
Why is it important and how does it work?
Do you find young children always have a hard time concentrating at the piano or even at school? Because they are always fidgeting, they like to move around, they are easily distracted. They have not been trained to focus at such tender age, at anything they are required to have full concentration. And the modern technology is definitely not helping, with the rise of smartphones, everyone is at it, ALL, THE, TIME. Even (/ Especially?) the adults are guilty at it, browsing through the internet with it, playing games on it, texting/whatsapping on it, constantly. You can think about how many hours you are NOT using your phone when you are awake…probably, not that many, not even one hour I reckon?
Playing the piano requires full attention. It promotes focus in the long run, therefore, when people say they want their children to take piano lessons because they want them kids to learn to behave and sit still, there is some truth to it. But at the same time, we need the players to acquire focus to be able to play well as well.
Absolute focus is not an option at the piano. FOCUS is a MUST.
You must attend to your music at ALL TIMES, at THAT MOMENT, not past not future. When you make a mistake, MOVE ON. If you dwell in the past, even just one bar ago, it’s gone, you cannot fix it, you must focus at the bar RIGHT NOW, in order to DO THE BEST here. You must also know what is going on in the future, while focusing at the NOW. You must feel your movement, knowing how it helps to control, coordinate and improve your technical skills and make the most efficient and effective move at that execution of note/chord/phrase.
Without FOCUS, there is no AWARENESS. There is no awareness of mistakes, there is no judgment on what is better and what is worse move, what is nicer sound and uglier sound, what is the right pitch/rhythm and wrong pitch/rhythm, there is no control of a steady tempo.
With FOCUS, everything is clearly revealed. You would know what is going wrong, and how to make it right.
FOCUS requires SILENCE, that silence of self-criticism/worry about being criticized. With that SPACE in your head, you allow yourself to grow and improve. With PERSISTENCE, you will go very far. You will become more and more successful in achieving what you want at the piano.
*In fact, with FOCUS, you can improve any area in any aspect of your life instantly, but that’s another story for another blog.