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Learning to listen

As piano students we have lots of choices. We can focus on building our technique, we can spend our time playing pieces that make us happy, we can even point our efforts toward trying to please our teachers.  What will really serve us?


Fortunately, there is much guidance available. To begin with, there are habits that we can choose to cultivate, habits that will support our piano learning, like making the intention to practice each day if only a little bit. There are also many, many, small steps we can take to help keep us on track as students, things like practicing hands apart, working with a metronome, warming up on scales.


It may seem surprising that paying attention to our mood as we sit down at the keyboard is another vital tool. With its  mysterious power to influence our feelings, music has always provided an escape for many of us. Yet, piano students embark on a great adventure of personal discovery when they begin to listen inside themselves as well as inside the music they play. Whatever path you choose in order to connect with the music you love, you will have ample opportunity to sample other options/practices along the way.

—Maria Montessori

The greatest sign of success for a to be able to say, the [students] are now working as if I did not exist.

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