Ready to make the commitment to piano lessons, except for that pesky issue of regular practice? We've all been there (yes, even professional musicians). Here are some tips to keep you motivated to come back to the piano:
1. Play for fun. So many times, we spend our time focusing on playing that next difficult piece, or what has been assigned in the last lesson. Take some time in your practice to go over things you enjoy. This is a great way to start your practice session since it will help draw you to the piano. When you think about your favorite song, many times you'll find yourself humming it and can't help but to go to the piano to plunk it out once or twice. Once you're there, it will be much easier to also take a quick look at what will be your next favorite song (after you've practiced it a few times, of course).
2. Where's your piano? Many times, students who have been having lackluster practice sessions suddenly come in with a big change in their practice habits. When I ask them what motivated to them to practice they say that they moved their piano. Keeping your instrument at a place that is enjoyable to be can often be all that it takes to sit down an play. Is your piano centrally located in the house? Do you have a nice view from the piano or is it tucked into a corner? Make it a place you like to be, and you'll find yourself going there.
3. Don't set deadlines. Especially if you are learning just for fun, or if you are the parent of a young child, there is no need to set strict guidelines for how long you should practice daily, or even to set an expectation that a piece should be learned by the next lesson. Forcing yourself to sit at the piano for a set period of time can be either tiring if the piece is very difficult, or boring if the pieces you have learned so far are very basic. Try to make it the goal to play through short songs about 3 times, or break larger pieces down into smaller lengths that are easier to digest. Bring difficult passages back to your teacher to receive guidance on how to practice them in a way that doesn't feel insurmountable.
For more suggestions on practice, check out the following links.