Practice makes perfect. But how should one practice? Well, the point of having a piano teacher is so that he or she could tell you how to most effectively use your time and energy to practice, for maximum result. The practice sheet is especially good when you are relatively inexperienced in piano playing or if you have an exorbotanntly busy shedule. The practice sheet helps you be right on target and be to the point. Here is an sample of a practice sheet, which details what you should do for practicing everyday of the week.
2/8Suzuki “Christmas day secretsCreate lyrics that match the rhythm of the RH of mm. 21-24. (for example, “look, look, alligator, look, look, alligator, look, here it comes, to, us.) The trick is to put four-syllable words under the four sixteen notes, put two-syllable words under the two sixteen notes, and put one syllable words under the eighth notes. Practice RH of mm. 21-24 until perfect (the fingerings are written at mm. 1-4), paying special attention to the rhythm. Practice LH of mm. 21-24until perfect (the fingerings are written at mm. 1-4) Put LH and RH together, playing them SLOWLY, until perfect Suzuki “Allegro” p. 30Study the left hand pattern of mm. 1-4. Imagine how your fingers are supposed to move to hit the right notes. For example, when you move from G-B-D to G-C-E, you will imagine that your LH thumb move a half step to the right, and your index finger kicks the third finger out so that it could play the “C.” Play the chords G-B-D (tonic chord, or I chord in G major), G-C-E (subdominant chord, or IV chord), G-B-D (I chord), and F#-C-D (dominant chord, or V chord) on the piano, feeling the change of positions of your fingers on the keyboard. See if you could play them smoothly from one chord to another. Practice LH of mm. 1-4 in rhythm. 2/9Suzuki “Allegro”Practice RH of m. 2 and m. 4. You could create lyrics to help you with the rhythm if you want (for example, alligator, run, run) Put RH and LH of m. 2 and m. 4 together, playing them slowly. Play the melody of mm. 1-4 (which is the right hand part), making them sound musical. (When I say “musical,” I mean playing the melody as if you are singing it. Make it sound as beautiful and cute as you can. You can pretend that you are singing the melody to your mother or your brother.) You can listen to the CD I gave your mother to see what it means to play something musically and beautifully. Put RH and LH of mm. 1-4 together, playing them slowly until perfect. Suzuki “Christmas day secretsPractice mm. 17-24, trying to play both hands together, paying attention to the dynamics (mp and p) and tempo (rit.) 2/10Suzuki “Christmas day secretsFamiliarize yourself with the rhythm of RH of mm. 9-16, writing a rhythmic lyrics if you want Practice the RH of mm. 9-12, paying attention to the FINGERING. The fingering is tricky, so make sure that you know how your fingers are supposed to move before you play them. Play the LH of m. 12 and m. 16 a couple of times. Play the LH of mm. 11-12 and mm. 15-16 a couple of time. Play the LH of mm. 9-12 and mm. 13-16 a couple of time. Ask yourself: how do mm. 9-12 and 13-16 differ? Can you figure out why it is different? (the key lies in m. 13 and m. 17) 2/11Suzuki “Allegro”Familiarize yourself with the rhythm of LH of mm. 5-8, paying attention to the eighth note rests at mm. 5 and 6. Play the RH of mm. 5-8 a couple of times. “Dolce” means “sweetly.” Again, pretend that you are singing the melody. Play RH, LH of mm. 5-8 together a couple of times. Compare mm. 1-4 and mm. 5-8. How do they differ? If you are a singer or a poet, how would you describe the moods of mm. 1-4 and mm. 5-8? Which one sounds more energetic and which one sounds calmer? Play mm. 1-8, trying to make a difference between the staccato of mm. 1-4 and legato of mm. 5-8 Suzuki “Christmas day secretsReview the RH and LH of mm. 9-16, practicing them separately then together 2/12Suzuki “Christmas day secretsWork on mm. 1-8 Review LH of m. 12 and m. 16 Play the whole song a couple of times, see if there is any rough spots left Suzuki “Allegro”Review RH of mm. 1-4, paying attention to the fingering (especially the crossover of fingers 1 and 3 at m. 3) Review LH and RH of mm. 5-8 Playing LH and RH of mm. 5-8 together a couple of times Play through the whole song a couple of times, see if there is any rough spots left 2/13Suzuki “Christmas day secretsReview the whole song, paying attention to the dynamics, and strive to make them sound musical Suzuki “Allegro”Review the whole song, paying attention to the contrast between mm. 1-4 and mm. 5-8, and strive to make them sound musical Suzuki “Christmas day secretsPerform the song for your father or mother (or a friend) Suzuki “Allegro”Perform the song for your father or mother (or a friend)
A practice session at the studio