"Think ten times and play once."  - Franz Liszt

How to Practice a Piece

  1. Concentrate totally during the practice

  2. Practice accurately every time. If you do make an error, back up one measure and play the shorter phrase correctly, 5-10 times. NEVER practice over errors 

  3. Always practice in short sections of 2-4 bars to develop accuracy and fluency

  4. Practice in short sittings of time - such as 2 x 30 minute sittings daily. Avoid long sittings without breaks

  5. Learn hands separately for accuracy of notes, rhythm, fingering and memory

  6. Memorize hands separately with special emphasis on LEFT hand

  7. Practice slowly at a very steady pace

  8. Work on difficult sections first.  Memorize all difficult sections immediately and practice them daily from memory

  9. Practice legato passages with finger staccato to develop clarity

  10. Use the metronome daily. Start at a slow tempo and move up one notch at a time. (Hands separately with M.M. also) When full tempo is achieved, practice at a slow tempo 2 more times

  11. When practicing repetitions to develop fluency, THINK between each repetition so that your mind always directs your fingers

  12. When all sections are fluent, play the piece through

  13. When full tempo has been achieved, tape record your piece and listen critically to refine your playing