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A Dangerous Resolution - Make More Mistakes

Updated: Sep 21, 2019

Many newspapers articles this year have the same resolution theme ... not being afraid of making mistakes is a good New Year's resolution. I DISAGREE when it comes to getting better at the piano. OK dangerous may be a bit dramatic. No one will die, but it if you adopt the more mistakes rule in your piano practice it will really mess things up.

It has been proven the less mistakes you make the faster you learn a piece. Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent. Be AWARE of the mistakes and do NOT repeat them. Here’s a great article that summarizes a University of Texas study.

The article shows, the #1 practice strategy that enables you to learn a piece quickly and accurately is to completely understand each error you make AND correct it by varying speeds and hand positions. When it is stabilized, follow up with 100% correct repetition. OK, at first, this isn't fun, but then you see your error disappear and in no time you can play the piece exactly the way you want to. That's fun! If you don't know the tricks it takes to fix an error ... ask your teacher :-)

Here’s the full study

Revised New Year’s Resolution – be aware of my mistakes. They are trying to teach me something. Happy New Year!

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