Learn piano online, boost your confidence with these 5 positive habits
During lessons, the piano instructor will look at your demeanor. She will notice every detail about you. The expressions of your face, the movement of your body, the agility of your fingers, even the bat of an eyelid.
How generous the piano teacher will be with you depends a lot on how sincere you are in absorbing the contents of the lesson. Stay focus on what you are doing on the piano. Listen to every word she says and try to heed them. Even if you can not do as you are told on the spot, remember her exact words and practise exactly as she said it when you get home.
The next time she sees you be sure to be able to show some marked improvements since the last time you met. Having earned the admiration and respect of your mentor has the effect of boosting your confidence manifold.
Some people have fingers that are naturally suitable for playing arpeggios. For others, because they possibly enjoy the sound of an arpeggio, they have played it often out of pleasure. As such an arpeggio is a walk in the park for them.
Realizing the strength you possess in a certain technical aspect of piano playing such as a smooth arpeggio, gives you leverage while performing a song.
In ‘Sonatina’ by Clementi there is an arpeggio to be played with the right hand in bar 12. Knowing that you would not falter with an arpeggio, you breeze through the phrase like a hot knife through butter. Confidence is boosted several notches higher when you know you are good in executing a given task.
For the longest of time I could never curve the fifth finger on my right hand when moving up a scale. Mysteriously the problem does not occur when moving down scale. Baffling - in this sort of predicament studying with a passionately dedicated teacher is like being in a medieval torture chamber. She unleashed every known fingering exercise known to man in order to get my miscreant finger to obey.
At the time, I was learning two wonderful songs, ‘Le Coucou’ and ‘The Moon Represents My Heart’. Two songs I was determined to master - both requiring a flexible fifth finger on the right hand to stretch out and hit a distant key. Knowing I had this weakness, I realized that if I did not work to fix it, I will never be able to play them.
Hanon’s exercises, scales, arpeggios or just going up and down the keyboard using the 4th and 5th finger – I practised every drill I knew that I thought could help the 5th finger to curve properly. Fortunately, though it took almost 2 weeks of daily practise, it was not a total lost cause - the little pinkie eventually curved.
In his book ‘Straight from the gut’, legendary former CEO of General Electric Jack Welch emphasized the importance of celebrating small successes. Be it solving a problem in the design of an engine or winning an account with a new client.
The reason for this is, success brings with it the confidence to achieve more. If you recently passed a Grade 2 ABRSM piano exam go out for pizza with a few friends to celebrate. For some piano students who may be learning for the pleasure of just being able to play and do not sit for exams, being able to finally render a piano piece flawlessly is a small success worth celebrating too. I get a thrill when my piano teacher draws a star with her pencil on the music sheet whenever I played to her satisfaction.
Newer challenges stimulate the mind and keep us on our toes. If Beethoven’s ‘Fur Elise’ is already a song well within your capabilities, challenge yourself with a piece by Mendelsohn such as ‘Venetian Boat Song’.
Mastering a song that you did not think you could ever play can boost your confidence sky high. Nothing seems impossible afterwards. It takes patience and the wisdom to go easy on yourself in the beginning. Early in the process of tackling a new challenge it is best not to be overcritical and have too lofty expectations. Practise without being attached to the results.