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Singing from Memory

Question: Do you have any tips for singing from memory? I can never remember it all and usually get stuck in the middle.

– Courtney (UK)

Albert’s reply: It’s most important to...

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Returning to the Piano

Question: Hello Albert,

I studied piano for five years, and the course was focused on jazz, blues, bossa nova, and other Brazilian styles. These styles are quite different from classical since...

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Preparing a Piece for a Concert

Question: I am a late learner (75), probably grade 2 or 3. I am to play in a concert in 3 weeks’ time. I will play the first and third movements of Clementi’s Op. 36, No. 2, which...

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Practicing with Emotion

Question: What about feelings taking over you by what you listen to before you produce the idea on the piano? Until what point can a pianist deal with passion evoked through the music he/she is...

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Practicing to Eliminate Mistakes

Question: Hi,

I want to know how to learn to play a piece without making mistakes.
I have tried practicing the piece over and over. And when I am at home alone I can seem to get through it with...

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Practicing Scales

Question: Thank you for putting up this site! It has been really helpful!! However, I get rather confused when it comes to the topic of scales, in certain places you say that it is essential to...

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Practicing Music vs. Scales

Question: I am a beginning piano player and want to start on a path to being a good piano player. I have started practicing scales, but it bores me to death. I find myself going back to playing...

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Practicing Mistakes

Question: What do you mean by “mistakes are ‘unwelcome guests’ and we are to check them at the door” (quotation from your Piano Practice page)?

Albert’s reply: One...

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Practicing for Several Concerts at the Same Time

Question: I’m a retired church musician (organist/choirmaster) who’s been asked to play eight noon recitals at a public library over the course of next year starting in January....

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Practicing Away from the Instrument

Question: Is it possible to practice piano playing without a piano? Just like athletes need to go to gym to strengthen their muscles.

Any comment?

– Tingting (Hong Kong)

Albert’s...

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Playing in All Keys

Question: Hello Albert,

Your site and its contents along with your explanations are exceptional, and I am enjoying reading it all. It seems to speak to me.

Q: Which key do you tend to “mess...

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Piano Transcription

Question: Why didn’t you include transcription? I’ve always thought that it was an important part of learning an instrument.

– Mike B. (Chicago)

Albert’s reply:...

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Piano Practice

What do you imagine when practicing piano? Is it about losing yourself in the music in a state of perpetual inspiration… or waiting for inspiration to strike? Flashbacks of nasty...

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Piano Practice Discipline

Question: I have a 7-year-old son who is talented and who has got a good teacher, but is not methodical or disciplined. How do I instill discipline in him?

– Tejas

Albert’s reply: In...

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Piano Piece Memorization

Question: Is there such a thing as effective memorization technique on any given piano piece? I only know memorization through repetitions.

– Leo (California, USA)

Albert’s reply:...

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Piano Bench Height

Question: I was wondering if you could give specific suggestions as to the height of a piano bench. I have a fixed-height wooden bench that doesn’t match the piano, but I may be able to...

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Motivation and Concentration

Question: I find myself taking constant breaks, procrastinating, if you will. It takes a certain amount of motivation to start my practicing. I am a lover of classical and operatic music, and I...

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Mental Practice

Question: I have a question regarding mentally practicing the piano. The last expert tip on the Efficient Piano Practice page suggests to study away from the piano. I have heard that a number of...

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Mental Practice and Visualization

Question: There is a blind Japanese pianist I found on YouTube, his name is Nobuyuki Tsujii. Truly remarkable, he was born blind. No doubt you probably know of him. How he learned to play, to me,...

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Memorizing Music Without Playing It

Question: How do you memorize a piece of music without using muscle memory?

Albert’s reply: There are two poles to learning music without playing it. The first is a process of abstraction...

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Mastering Scales

The Thrill of the Challenge

Question: Hi Albert,

For the past year, I’ve been concentrating on trying to develop and memorize the “feel” of the major and minor scales in both...

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Legal Practicing Hours

Question: What is the law about practicing hours?

Albert’s reply: Noise laws vary by city. In London, there’s a 1996 Noise Act that specifies 11 PM to 7 AM as quiet hours. Violations...

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Learning Complex Pieces Quickly

Question: Hello,

I have to learn Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Fantasia in D minor in one week, so I was wondering if you have any tips on learning a complex piece quickly and how to count...

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Learning and Memorizing Music

Question: Hi Albert,

I’m beginning to work on some quite difficult pieces now, as I’ve finished the 8 grades of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). How should I...

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Insecurity and Mistakes

Question: I just want to say that I love your website. My name is Daniel. I’m Brazilian, 22 years old and I’ve been studying since I was 18, which is little time. I had the luck of...

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