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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: Hello Albert,

Often bringing out or emphasizing particular notes within a chord is required, as in e.g. Schubert’s Moment Musical, Op. 94 (D.780), No. 2, where the higher notes of...

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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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How to Organize Practice

Question: Dear Albert,

I usually practise for about 3 hours a day, with the odd day on which I do either 4 or – if I am too busy – 2 and a half hours. With all this practice time,...

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How to Measure Your Progress

Question: Hi Albert,

I always look forward to your weekly lessons!

My question today is, since piano practice is such a lonely (I just mean that you do it alone) activity, even the weekly lessons...

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How to Learn Music

Question: How do you go about learning a new piece from scratch? Do you advise memorizing and analyzing the piece away from the piano before actually playing it?

Could you outline the steps...

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How Slow Is Slow?

Question: Hi Albert,

First of all, thank you so much for putting all this information up online, there’s so much here and it’s very helpful.

In numerous places you stress the...

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How Many Pieces Should I Practice?

Question: Having a full time non-musical job, I can only practice on the piano only as much as I can after work. At this point, as the momentum rises and my practice time has increased, I become...

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How Long Should a Beginner Practice?

Question: I was wondering, how long should a beginner practice?

– Alanna (California, USA)

Albert’s reply: How long to practice piano depends on the student’s age. For very...

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How Long Does it Take to Learn Music?

Question: If a professional musician was given an advanced piece of classical music of say 15 pages, something they had never seen before, how long would it take them to learn such a piece? When I...

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Hands Separate vs. Hands Together

Question: Dear Albert:

I am a beginning piano student and I am curious about something. It is always stressed that one should practice hands separate, then hands together. However, hands separate...

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Emotions in Practice and Performance

Question: Hello Albert. A performer’s emotion(s) play an essential part at every performance. What can you say about managing moods (good or bad) during practice and performance?

– Leo...

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Efficient Piano Practice

10 Expert Tips

Everybody is under intense time pressure these days, and musicians are no exception. In reply to the many requests about efficient piano practice, here are some expert tips that can...

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Effects of Age on Piano Practice

Question: I used to play when I was younger. I am 52 now but still love to play (it’s innate). Unsupportive family members restricted me from practicing as much as I wanted. So I stopped for...

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Different Rhythms in Different Hands

Question: Okay, so I haven’t taken piano lessons for 5 years and I stopped as a beginner so I’m not very good and I don’t know all that much. But for whatever reason I have been...

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Counting Rhythm

Question: Just a quick question re: counting notes… timing. I’m immediately interested in finding help in proper counting of various notes. I struggle with this more than anything....

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A Chord

The A major triad, more commonly called the A major chord or simply the A chord for short, consists of the notes A, C-sharp and E. Here it is on the treble clef staff:

Here is the A major chord on...

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