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My Top 9 ways for unlocking my pupils inner performance potential


Welcome to my newest blog post.

This blog post is about the Top 10 Ways I Unlock The True Performance Potential of my pupils.

As I already explained in my video "How To Inspire Your Child to practice piano this Christmas" setting goals for practices and longer term goals is important so the pupil has something to aim for rather than just turning up for lessons and seeing what happens. Similarly I also explained why it is valuable to do things the pupil instead of focusing on their technical work

This Facebook video is available at

1 - Practice Like You Want To Perform

2 - Discover The Correct Practice Technique

3 – Get Good Habits Early

4- Know what You need to work on

5- Get an awareness of music theory

6- I plan my lessons in advance

7- Improve the pupil’s confidence

8- Praise the pupil when they have done well

9- Include technical exercises from an early level

1 - Practice Like You Want To Perform

Firstly, the pupil has to prepare their performance through practicing as if they are performing. This includes deciding how the piano will sound at particular parts of the piece and deciding what emotion they want the piano to evoke and how they want the listener to feel. This will improve the pupil's performance rather than just practicing for the sake of it.

2 - Discover The Correct "Practice Technique"

Secondly, the pupil has to discover the correct "practice technique" instead of practicing without purpose. This includes using different approaches to difficult rhythms, gradually building up the pupil's dynamic range and piano playing techniques for the particular piece they are working on. It also includes doing a wide variety of tasks for practice rather than just focusing on 1 piece.

Instead, depending on their aims a piece of music, scales/ general technical exercises, a fun piece of music for them to play, technical exercises specific to the piece they are working on.

3 - Get Good Habits Early

Next, it is important that at the early stages of the pupil's music career they develop good habits early on. This can only be achieved if the pupil has a teacher who can unlock their inner potential as a musician and as a performer. I will be able to spot any bad habits the pupil may have such as bad posture, poor hand shape or not practicing the right way.

This needs to be learnt at an early stage of the pupil's career as if not then it is more difficult to learn good habits later on.

4- Know what You need to work on

In addition, if the pupil doesn't have leadership from their teacher about what they need to work on then their ability will not improve. In all of my lessons I let the pupil know what they need to work on to get their piano/keyboard playing to the next level for their ability.

5- Get an awareness of music theory

For most of my piano/keyboard lessons I include 10 minutes on music theory. This is so that you will first of all become a better musician overall before becoming a better performer. With the addition of music theory awareness this will give the pupil confidence if they want to learn a new song they haven't done before or learn another new instrument.

6- I plan my lessons in advance and review lessons afterwards

In each of my piano/keyboard or music theory lessons I plan my lessons in advance for each of my pupils so that it is easier for them to learn new techniques which I have planned to include in the lessons beforehand or so that there is a mixture of continuity in the lesson and new material in the lesson.

I also review the lesson afterwards to know what the pupil could improve on and what they need to work on for future lessons.

7- Improve the pupil’s confidence

Since I know what makes a talented and self-assured performer, I know how to empower the pupil with confidence to take their performance to the next level. I do this by getting the pupil to practice like they want to perform and giving them new pieces which are at their music level and aren't challenging for them.

8- Praise the pupil when they have done well

Whenever a pupil performs to a high standard it is vital that they know what they have done well or the pupil may not pick up on what was good about the performance and think that they are not any good or their performances may become of a lower standard if they don't realise what they are doing well.

I regularly let my pupils know when they have performed well so they can use that for their next performance and be empowered with confidence.

9- Include technical exercises from an early level

At an early level I like to include technical exercises as this will let the pupil have something to warm-up with so they don't become injured and also to improve their overall technique. I do this from an early level as this will help the progress of the pupil. It will also prepare them for exams if they want to do them or improve their sound quality on the piano/keyboard.

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