Piano Teacher Challenge!

(see updates here)

So, dear piano teachers…how many of us practice every day? You know, like what we expect our piano students to do? I know some of you perform every week in church or give a recital once a year.  But what about the rest of us? Your piano skills might not be of the concert pianist caliber, but are you maintaining and polishing the skills you have?
This is exactly what I was thinking this morning on that darn treadmill!

So I decided to challenge myself. For many years I have been relying on my ability to sightread easily – and fake it – through easy pieces.  But today I am challenging myself to play 12 scales and a new sonata or sonatina every day – for 30 days!

If you need to bring back some discipline into your piano practice, join me!  I will keep myself accountable by posting my progress every day.

Off to the piano I go!

Day 1

17 Replies to “Piano Teacher Challenge!”

  1. Poo-poo, I thought. I’m a singer with acres of notes to get under my belt. No time for a challenge. But at 7:00am today my piano whispered, “Take the challenge…”. I played 12 scales. I shall not play sonatas, etc, but will read a song accompaniment or something else voice-related.

    1. The challenge is really to practice. No matter what your instrument is. We want our students to practice and improve, we need to set an example!
      Keep it up!!

  2. Day 4: Spent 30 minutes at the piano – 15 minutes of warm-ups. That felt great. Ran through Mozart Sonata in C (K545) to review for a student lesson. Spent rest of time brushing up Take 5 for today’s student.

  3. Day 5: 5 minutes of warm-ups: Hanon 9,10,11,12. D major and B minor grand scales – B minor is tricky in contrary motion. Good to remind myself what my students are dealing with. Rest of the time I sight read some new music by Michael Hoppe. I’m looking for a piece to play at my nephew’s wedding. I’m open to suggestions. I’m beginning to get in a groove but find my practicing goes better the earlier in the day I do it.

    1. So awesome that you are practicing with me! Pretty soon we will have to come up with a way to keep this going!

  4. I am so impressed with the repertoire you’re reviewing. The Chopin Ballade No. 1 is one of my favorite pieces of piano music. I’ve always wanted to learn it, but only got as far as a few bits of it. If only you lived closer!
    Updates: Day 7 Hanon 9-12, scales, Bach Invention #4 (student
    Day 8 Mozart Fantasia in D minor – review for a student
    Day 9 I pulled out some of my original compositions, at the encouragement of my husband, and played through them. I got very excited about bringing them back.
    Day 10 Played only my own music – what fun!
    I want to thank you, again, Dorla for putting this challenge out.
    You have helped me get back in touch with the joy of playing and helped me realize how important it is for me to be actively practicing when I am asking my students to do the same. I would
    be interested in figuring out a way to keep this going.

    1. Nancy! I am so glad you are enjoying your time at the piano. I missed yesterday because of illness – but was back at it today!
      How to keep it going after the 30 days? good question. Let’s brainstorm!

  5. Dorla,
    Let’s pick this brainstorming idea up by email. I’m on a roll now – up to 30 minutes or more every day.

  6. I started about 2 weeks ago – I think I managed 30 min + every day the first week, second week a couple days I was just too tired by the part of the day when I had time (ie 9:00 pm sometimes); This week is spring break so I have no excuses, but of course probably plan 2x too much to pack into each day…

    Biggest surprise: Practicing scales & arpeggios in all keys is really helping my fingers remember where to go!! Also daily (or near-daily…) practice does amazing things towards getting my fingers to obey the signals I send! I guess I am rediscovering the practice effect – the more you practice the more fun it is because things are easier and sound better. So far I’m working on some Ginastera, Bartok, and Mozart I played in the past. Rediscovered some books from a REALLY long time ago, such as Khatchaturian – Adventures of Ivan and Bartok – Rumanian Folk Dances. Easy to play through and lots of fun! Memories from childhood leave a lasting impression – which is now influencing what I want my kids to listen to and learn to play.

    So, if anyone is continuing a practice challenge via email or elsewhere, let me know!


Comments are closed.