In this article we’ll suggest five ideas that will help you if you’re faced with learning a new piano piece. If you’ve stalled in your attempt to raise your standards or if you haven’t quite met the demands of the new piano score you are attempting, these five ways to practice piano should help.
There are as many ways to come to practicing the piano as there are pianists, so consider these five practice tips a starting point for your own explorations.

1. How long is long enough? Keep yourself fresh. If you work at a piece too long at one time, you’ll probably get stale or frustrated. Get up and move away from the piano from time to time. Give yourself a chance to relax. So try to understand when enough is enough for one day. Walk away and know that even when you are away from the piano bench your mind will continue to work out any issues or problems. Take a short nap, sleep overnight or even take a few days off. When you come back you’ll be able to attack the practice with renewed vigor.

2. Work sometimes with the right or left hand separately. Your goal ultimately is of course to develop a trustworthy coordination; working with your hands separately until they both know exactly what they should do will help you achieving this. Special attention to one hand and the other separately at intervals will help you learn your pieces more solidly and develop strength in your performance.

3. Play through your piece without stopping sometimes, whether the piece can be played really well or whether it is riddled with false notes. Take note of the areas where you made mistakes, so that you may use the next session to successfully overcome them. When a mistake happens during a performance – and you can be sure it will – you will be better prepared to handle it if you have practised like this.

4. When you have a difficult piece to practice don’t begin your session with that piece. Get comfortable first by playing a favorite; a work you love and play well enough to be pleased with yourself. Then turn to the difficult piece you might still be struggling with. Play a passage that works well for you and move to the hard bits that give you trouble. This is the way to be smart about your practice. You don’t want to develop a habit of just playing from start to finish every time. Being strategic about your practice will help you to avoid uneven performances.

5. Finally be wise about fast and slow practice. It’s useful to start with a slow tempo as you learn the intricacies of the piece you are working with. But interrupt that method with a faster tempo, a speed that you feel is demanded by what you are playing. Playing the faster tempo gives you the ideas you need about necessary movement to achieve the interpretation you are looking for. When you are able to play your piece at the speed you want, still don’t lose sight of the fact that occasionally playing at slower speeds will help you keep the details in mind.