Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Piano Exercises for Students

By Georgia Reader

Piano practice is for those who want to learn to play piano pieces for performance or just for fun. Most students should set up some weekly steps to achieve a goal, mainly getting a piece learned. After the student sets up some small steps and executes them, results will follow for the patient pianist.

Most pianists need to work on developing the arm muscles as well as the hand and finger dexterity to get the power needed for chords and endurance. Finger exercises such as studies by Hanon or Czerny are effective for developing finger power. When finger exercises are practiced along with arm exercises such as lifting light weights, you will find that you are armed with the power to become a better pianist.

Pianist need to have a finger technique that is quick and accurate, as well as strong. When a pianist practices with fingering exercises they will discover that they have more stamina as a pianist. The exercises or patterns may be practiced slowly at first, then speed can be added to these exercises later.

A good way to start off a practice session is to play your exercises to keep your fingers agile and ready to play your pieces. Do not spend too much time doing extra exercises fingers and your hands as this will not benefit your piano technique. Actually, this can delay your build up of finger dexterity as large muscles can slow it down.

Finger muscles are found in the arm so twisting or bending the wrist or fingers in abrupt or odd ways that can cause harm to your hand. Aim for playing with a relaxed wrist, not a tense froze wrist while you play. Tension in the arm, wrist or fingers will lead to mistakes and possible injury, so if you find your arm or hand in pain stop as you are overdoing it.

Piano exercises are generally not popular with piano students, because they have a reputation of being boring and tedious. Many piano teachers expect students to play exercises as a part of the practice routine, and they usually expect the student to play them at the beginning of practice. Students should not feel that it is a useless waste of time, as they can look forward to some degree of improvement in finger dexterity and strength in just a few weeks.

There are many alternatives to repetitive sections of scales. For instance selecting certain etudes that concentrate on different technical aspects can be just as profitable and are much more interesting to play. Piano exercises will help you develop flexibility and are great for warming-up your fingers before actually practicing your pieces of music.

Keep in mind that playing exercises, scales, and etudes or studies will be better finger dexterity and technique. Do not overdo the exercises, but spend about ten minutes maximum daily. Make the best of your time playing the exercises, even try to play them musically with dynamics and with feeling if you can because you are improving your ability as a pianist.

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