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Piano Lessons: Practice Chart

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[MUSIC]
We're
going to talk about the most important
secret tool that you're going to use in
all of this Peery program.
This tool will help you succeed, it's the
secret to your success.
It's going to become your new best friend.
What am I talking about?
Your practice charts.
You will never, ever practice without your
practice charts.
You can make your practice chart however
you want.
But it needs to be sitting on your music
stand.
You'll notice in every single video for
habits
that I have my practice chart sitting on
my practice stand, ready to go.
The reason the practice chart is going to
help you succeed
is because it helps you know what to do
every day.
Playing the piano is a multi-step process.
You have a lot of things to do.
And if you just sit down and say, I'm
gonna practice for 15 minutes today,
you're setting yourself up to just be
overwhelmed,
and to not like piano, and not make any
improvement.
But if you have a list of tasks to
accomplish.
Every day, and you know exactly what
you're going to do during
your practice time without sitting there
and wasting time and thinking about it,
you will succeed faster than you can ever
imagine.
So a couple things about the practice
chart.
One, it sits on your music stand, and
you don't start your practice until it's
sitting there.
Two, after you've completed the task, you
mark your practice charts, okay?
You don't wait til the end of the week,
and then go through and
just scribble through your entire practice
chart, cuz you practiced all week.
You need to see your progress everyday, it
will become very motivating to see, look
what I did today, even see your marks, and
then you know when you're finished.
The Peery Program is very task oriented,
it's not time oriented.
Which means you practice as long as you
need to, to get your tasks done.
Don't set the timer and just say I'm going
to practice for a half hour today.
Okay?
Now if you know you only have a half hour
to practice and
your not getting through your whole
practice chart,
then take out some of the items, but don't
just sit with the timer.
Now let's talk about the different ways
that you can practice.
I talk about these a lot in the videos.
So, sometimes you'll be practicing right
hand alone, you do this
a lot when we're first learning muscle
builders and power fingers.
So you'll wanna show on your practice
chart, you'll wanna make a box for
your right hand and then for your left
hand.
So you know, oh I practice right hand, and
then I practice left hand.
Another kind of box that we'll use a lot
is the five per day.
So I'll often tell you, practice five
times per day.
Okay, so it's expected in this program
that you practice five days,
that's a practice week.
That's how long an assignment should take.
Some take longer.
But a minimum of five days.
So here on my practice chart, I've broken
down this line into five different
sections, and then in each section, there
are five little boxes.
So in each box,
I would mark this off with my x or with my
star, depending on how I play.
Then by the end of the week, I can easily
see my progress.
Another kind of way that you're gonna
practice is marking something complete.
So you'll hear me say okay, mark that
completed when you've finished.
That's usually a written page.
Something you don't have to practice every
day.
But this, this would just remind you oh, I
have this theory page.
I have this written page to do and then
you'd mark this box when it's completed.
And then the last way you're going to
practice a lot is with FERN.
So you can make your FERN however you
want, but
how I've done it is I have each individual
letter has a box.
And then the whole word of FERN has a box
at the end.
Now online you can go through and get
these different pictures and
print out your own practice chart by
dragging and dropping them.
So you can do it that way or just make it
up however you want.
If you want to handwrite it that's fine.
If your parents want to do it on the
computer that's fine.
Whatever makes sense to you.
Some of my students like to put stickers
when they've done something instead of
just marking it off.
So whatever makes practicing fun for you,
let's do it.
But remember, this is our secret tool.
This is your new best friend.
Get that practice chart out every time you
practice.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So lets go to FERN.
The F, in FERN stands for finger, so,
you'll play through the piece
watching your finger numbers and your
finger position.
And when you finish that then you'll mark
that off with your pencil,
to show that you've completed it.
The E in FERN stands for expression.
That could include your wrists, or the
dynamics,
if your playing loudly and softly.
It's anything that makes the music sound
really beautiful.
Makes it sound like it's being played by a
person, rather than a robot.
Okay?
So when you've gone through, and
each lesson, I'll tell you what expression
to work on so you don't have to guess.
Well when you've worked on your
expression,
then you'll mark that off with an X.
The R stands for rhythm.
Rhythm is making sure that you're keeping
right on the beat and
holding the notes as long or short as they
need to be.
So after you've played through, focusing
just on your rhythm,
making sure you're keeping right in time,
then you can mark that with an X.
Show that you've completed it.
The N in FERN stands for notes.
So you need to do a play though, just
hitting every single note correctly.
Doesn't matter if you might have a
collapsed finger or
your rhythm gets a little off, you've
played every note accurately.
When you've done that, you can mark that
off.
On this last play through, you just play
through your section and see how you do.
So let's say you play through it, but your
fingers weren't curved.
You did remember your expression.
You played all the notes perfectly but you
paused a little bit and
got the rhythm mixed up.
So since you did the expression great, and
the notes perfectly, you can mark those
off.
By the end of the week, your goal is to be
marking off that whole last FERN step,
that you can get all the FERN in one play
through.
After you've learned your new piece for
one week, then it turns into five per day.
Now what I'll be telling you is okay, do
it five times per day and
mark your chart with an x or with a star.
So let's say I'm playing through my piece
and I notice I had to pause.
So I could still have something to improve
on.
So I'm gonna just mark it with an X to
show, to show that I did it.
Okay, let's say I play it the next time
and
oh my goodness, I did everything
fantastic.
Couldn't have been better.
Everything was there.
Now I'm gonna mark it with a star.
'Kay?
So just by looking at this,
I can see how I've done.
This space to the side is where you'll
label each assignment.
So let's say I'm working on Soccora, and I
was playing section A.
[SOUND]
So
this way, I always know what every
assignment is that I'm working on.
You know your chart is fantastic when at
the end of the week,
you could hand it to somebody and they
could see exactly what you've done and
not even ask any questions.
They can see what you've practiced.
They can see how you've practiced it.
And they can see how you've progressed.
If they ask any questions, you know you
didn't write a great chart.
So with my students, if their chart is
great I can look at it and say you had
a great practice week or I see that you
didn't do a lot of practicing this week.
We don't have to ask any questions.
So look at it that way, and you can even
test.
Give it to your mom and see if she can, if
she can see how you practiced that week.
If she has any questions you know you need
a few more details on your chart.
So get going on those charts.
[MUSIC]