It is no secret that mastering the piano can easily fill a lifetime, with so much information and content out there, things can sometimes feel overwhelming and it can be confusing to know where to turn next, regardless of how far along your piano journey you are.
Despite so much information out there, one core principal remains throughout. For most of us, the piano is a leisure activity, something we can truly lose ourselves in and escape from the bustle of daily life. Today we want to hone in and focus on how you can get more enjoyment out of your piano practice and playing as well as offering some simple tips and tricks to help you take the next step of your passion for piano.
Used to play when you were younger and looking to get started again? Read our returning players guide to the piano here!
Why Does Enjoyment Matter?
This is an interesting question and to a degree is highly subjective, but fundamentally enjoyment boils down to a simple point. Why would you spend your free time doing something you don’t like doing?
As mentioned, for most of us, the piano is used as a form of escapism from life, it is typically used as a way to relax, destress and experiment with music.
As such, enjoyment needs to be a non-negotiable part of your piano playing. If you are seeing your piano practice as a chore then it is likely one of two things are happening. 1) The piano simply isn’t for you (but before you get to this conclusion, keep reading this article!) or 2) Something is getting in the way of your practice feeling enjoyable.
We have seen this countless times over the years, but if you are not enjoying your practice, then chances are that you may be feeling feeling stuck, uninspired or don’t quite know where to turn next. When this is the case, the first thing we would recommend doing is remembering WHY you started piano in the first place and what drew you to it to begin with…Perhaps you want to write your own masterpiece, master Mozart or perhaps just want something to help you switch off after a long day. It is important to always keep this front of mind when you are experiencing a piano plateau as it is often the biggest driving factor to your piano enjoyment.
For those who see their piano playing as more of a chore, then think about the relationship you have with the piano. When you sit down at the keys, do you feel inspired? Or do you feel like your instrument is almost draining your inspiration? For many seasoned pianists, many view their piano as almost a friend or family member, someone who you can tell anything to without judgement or who you simply couldn't imagine your life without. Adding a personality to your piano can be a fun and interesting way to help kickstart the process of reigniting your enjoyment for piano as it adds more personality and emotion into your instrument…Who says pianos can’t have names after all?!
1) Remove The Pressure.
The first and best tip we can offer to those feeling uninspired or unenjoyment when sitting at their piano is…relax. There is a common misconception that you have to practice every day in order to become ‘good’ at the piano. You definitely don’t. As any long time player will tell you, sometimes we simply don’t feel like playing, or have other interests or responsibilities that we would rather focus our time into. It is important to remember that that is okay and not something to be ashamed of. Having a few days, a week, even a month away from the piano can feel healthy if you are perhaps feeling burned out. When the desire to play comes back, then why not try sitting down and learning something you have always wanted to try to learn.
On the flip side, perhaps you are feeling so busy with daily life and other responsibilities that you may almost feel ‘guilty’ when playing the piano - if this is you, read our guide here, or our guide to finding more time to practice here.
2) Focus On The End Goal
When learning complicated pieces or those that will help develop your playing, the ‘grind’ and repetition of playing the same sections over and over can feel tedious at times. When this happens, it’s important to focus on the end goal and result, return to the WHY you decided to learn this particular piece and remember that the most rewarding playing comes from being hard earned, you will feel incredibly satisfied and appreciate how much time you were able to spend on your learning when it is second nature to you.
3)Play what YOU love to play.
One thing that can be truly said about piano is that there is so much choice and repertoire out there. From classical to jazz (and even hybridisations of the two) favourites, there are a plethora of challenges and opportunities to explore.
What we would recommend here and for when you are lacking inspiration is to write a ‘Hearts Desire’ list. This is a list that is composed of pieces and music that you would love to play someday. The next time you are looking for something new to learn, use that list. This is a good section to also keep in your piano diary!
If you are looking for some inspiration, why not explore our new hand curated sheet music range!
4) Work on a variety of pieces.
Variety is the spice of life after all. In order to keep your playing interesting and exciting, it can be beneficial to try learning two different styles of pieces at any one time. This will do one of two things, not only will you likely be improving on two varying techniques, but also if you are finding one particular piece challenging or you need a few days away from, you can simultaneously switch between the two.
5) Gamify Your Practice.
We have written about this before in our guide to making piano scales more fun and exciting, and it is also a great way to help keep children engaged in learning, but one great tip for developing your piano playing skills would be to create different games within your practice. From creating flash cards to setting yourself mini challenges such as reaching a certain BPM on a metronome, gamifying your practice can be an incredibly effective tool.
BONUS: Don’t Go It Alone
Piano is rather notorious for being an isolating hobby…but we believe it definitely doesn’t have to be! There are community groups and forums across the country that can help you find your motivation and inspiration for new musical experiences to explore.
Above all and finally though, we would recommend focusing on YOU. Playing piano is an incredibly personal journey and only you can decide what you want from it. Play for yourself, not others. As cheesy as it may sound, music comes from YOU. If you are only playing for approval, that is a surefire way to suck the enjoyment out of your playing. Focus on the process of daily practice, not the outcome.
Want to learn more? Explore our blog for more tips and tricks to enhance your piano playing. Likewise, if you are looking to perhaps upgrade your piano, or would like to learn more, contact our experts or visit our piano showroom today!