top of page

Practice ABCs

There are lots of small, practical ways that we can hone our basic musical skills. What follows is a list of 26 steps that can help piano students build progress toward expanding their connection with the piano.


If you are already a student of Liz’s, you probably know which ones apply to you!

Try two or three each week:

  • Always stay in touch with your lesson plan each week. For starters, review it the first day of your practice and again the day before your next lesson.

  • Before you play, slow down a bit. It’s not a race to the finish line; it’s a gentler path toward becoming a more musical you. Slow practicing is the most beneficial, even when it comes to fast passages.

  • Can you hear what you are playing? How would you like it to sound?

  • Don’t forget to do your written assignment! Try doing it on a day you don’t have time to practice.

  • Exercise your audio memory and  play a song that you know by ear. Try Happy Birthday!

  • For a next step, see if you can write down the above piece in letter form (C C D C F E, etc)!

  • Good idea to notice if you are practicing each song enough. How many times is enough?

  • Hands apart practice is essential. Are you spending enough time on each hand alone?

  • Intend to keep track of how often you practice this week: mark an X by each song, each time you play it. You can share your record the next time we meet.

  • Just take a moment to ask yourself if you have remembered to practice the dynamics in your piece...

  • Keep in touch with your favorite lesson piece this week by memorizing it!

  • Learn more by working on a technical challenge instead of simply playing through the music.

  • Making a piece your own, by adding your own special touch, like new chords or unexpected dynamics, can be fun and energizing. Become a musical “arranger”!

  • Numbering for fingers: can you play any of your pieces without the finger numbers written in? Try erasing them and see.

  • Oh, those scales: try working on them this week with your eyes closed.  

  • Pick a tricky measure and practice it with a metronome this week!

  • Quell your rockiest challenge by practicing it “backwards”, one measure at a time.

  • Rhythms that are hard to get can open up when you keep returning to count each beat out loud.

  • See if you can mix up the order of your pieces and even warmups this week.  

  • Test yourself: what’s the longest word you can spell on the piano keyboard? Try CABBAGE!

  • Utilize your body connection by leaving the piano bench and walking the tempo of your piece before you play it. Or dance it!

  • Venture out and schedule a family concert this week to share your accomplishments!

  • Warm up your note reading abilities by adding sight reading to your weekly practice.

  • X-ert” your freedom of choice by telling your teacher what you are missing.  Practicing is easier when you love your piano pieces! Let me help you find what you are looking for.

  • You can always create beautiful pieces of your own on the black keys. You cannot make a mistake. Try it!

  • Zounds! Take a break. Close your eyes. Are you breathing? Check your posture.

“Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.”


bottom of page