Musical Instrument Practice

Musical Instrument Practice

How much Practice do I need to do to play a Musical Instrument ? By Ollie our fabulous keyboard teacher.
Musical Instrument Practice : Keyboard Practice makes permanent (NOT PERFECT)!
The more you practice, the better you will get. It is simple as that. Make sure you always do the most practice you can do in-between lessons. Students must find themselves doing a minimum of at least one hours practice each week, but there is never too much practice. There were times I would be playing piano for 2-3 hours every night at one stage.
Make sure you practice what work is set. However challenging something may be. It is always the things we find most difficult that will help us to improve.
If you ever struggle with practice, don’t ever get frustrated, you are not alone!!
If everything was so easy we would have musicians absolutely everywhere.
Do your best at whatever you can do and always ask your teacher for as much help as you need it,
That is what they are there for.

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Do Pupils need to read music?

Do Pupils need to read music? What is the benefit of reading music for Musical Instrument Practice.
This is always a conflicting question. Of course, the answer is yes. A pupil must be able to read music. But the question is… “To What Level?”
Personally I didn’t really start reading music until very late on in my playing career.
I began playing piano at the age of 16 and I can honestly say I didn’t really fully grasp reading music until the age of 22.
Reading music isn’t the bee all and end all if you would like a career in music, it just depends what branch you are looking to work within.

If you can read music and play from sight, there is always work and it will bring good money.
In comparison, many many talented musicians play by ear and use their vast knowledge of theory to enforced their ability.

To be successful and get the most enjoyment out of playing, I would recommend a good balance. You need to have the ability to read the majority of what you would like to play whilst ensuring you have the aural skills to enrich your improvisation.

How Long does it take to do grades?

This really depends on the student and how they apply themselves.
In most cases a grade can take between 11 Months and 18 Months – dependent on the pupils learning speed and amount of Musical Instrument Practice they put in.
A grade is also dependent on how much time and effort a student puts into practice. Those who show self discipline and practice hard show the quickest and also best results in comparison to a student who just turns up to lessons and goes through the motions.
Preparation for the exam is also crucial. Like most music exams there is a set structure to what the student must play. For this reason, when leading into an exam it is really important that the student practices the work set by the teacher, not just what they fancy playing from the book.

What Book do I need?

What Book do I need, What is in the Book?
At a Yamaha music school we teach a course called Play for Keeps.
This course is a series of 8 Books, each matching their relevant grade level.
The course offers examinations from grades 1-8 and are all credited through Trinity College London.
The book have a variety of songs and exercises to help you accomplish all the requirements needed to perform at a specific level.
In a Play For Keeps Book you may find:
Solo Songs – Songs designed to be played as a solo performance using  the left hand to accompany the right hand melody

Band Songs – Songs designed to be played as a part of an ensemble. Teaches skills of playing with others whilst understanding an instruments role within a band environment.

Jogs -These are technical exercises that are vital in supplementing the students technique at that specific level. They are short songs all to be played with a provided backing track.

Writing/Listening – At various points throughout the book there are exercises to help develop the students aural skills. There is also opportunity to learn theory and understand how to read and write music.

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