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Piano Practice Tips for Adults

Adults often come to the point in their lives when they want to explore new hobbies. One of the most common hobbies adults pursue is learning to play the piano. It may be the first time they play or a return to a childhood pleasure. Whether you're an adult sitting down to learn the instrument for the first time or you want to brush up on your skills, keep in mind some basic rules of piano practice.

Posture is very important. Make sure that the piano bench is high enough. Your shoulders should hang freely, while your forearms are parallel to the floor. This allows the greatest freedom of movement and keeps your body from feeling constricted. While your hands are directly in front of you on the keyboard, your elbows should be just slightly forward of the center of your body. Sit forward on the bench so that your body is relaxed.

Create a regular piano practice schedule. Start with short sessions of 15 minutes. Increase the time as your skill progresses and your hands start to feel more limber. You may not have time for piano practices longer than half an hour, but that's enough to increase your skill and flexibility. Just try not to miss too many days in a row. Time of day is important. Pick a time when you'll be least distracted by the worries of life.

Practice books are extremely helpful for both beginners and experienced players. These contain exercises and tips that improve your technique. Many also teach musical theory, providing detailed explanations of scales, chords, modes and relative tonality. This is great for expanding your musical palette and understanding how melodies and harmonies work in the context of a piece.

Piano practice books also contain musical pieces adjusted to your skill level. At the end of each chapter you'll often find a piece that demonstrates techniques that you learned in the preceding pages. It may take a while to coordinate both of your hands, so don't expect to play at full speed right away. Practice each hand separately, at a moderate speed, before combining the two parts. You'll be less discouraged and find that your playing is more accurate.

Remember, piano practice isn't a competition. Even if you are a highly driven individual, take your time and be patient when learning the piano. You'll avoid frustration and possible injury if you avoid pushing yourself too hard. It's supposed to be enjoyable.

A metronome is an invaluable tool for piano practice. A metronome is a device that keeps perfect time, providing an audible beat set to an exacting tempo. Metronomes are adjustable from very slow to very fast, well within the limits of pieces you'll be practicing. Even if you feel that you have a great sense of timing, invest in this handy little tool for your piano practice sessions. You'll be amazed how often you change tempos slightly while running through exercises.

Whatever amount of time and dedication you are able to invest in the piano, it's a great instrument for adults to learn. The piano is a few hundred years old, and people are still exploring its musical possibilities. Join their ranks and make music that you'll love for the rest of your life.


The Mozart Effect, Piano Playing and You

For years people have enjoyed the beauty of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music. Those inclined to classical compositions enjoy the intricacies and nuances that are part of his works. His varied music inspires, soothes and invigorates those who take the time to listen to it.

Some researchers believe Mozart's music does more than this. They expound on the Mozart Effect, which research suggests that listening to Mozart's music may cause short-term improvement of spatio-temporal reasoning. This spatio-temporal reasoning is the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks.

The term Mozart Effect also includes popular versions of this theory. These popular theories suggest that listening to the composer's music can make you smarter. Further, these theories state that there are benefits to mental development in those who listen to classical music in early childhood.

Those who have trademark products related to the Mozart Effect suggest even more. They believe that music has powers that can affect one's quality of life positively in many ways. They believe music is beneficial for overall well being. They sell trademark music and music-related products to achieve this.

What does all this mean for those interested in piano playing and music in general? It means that music is a tool that, while used for enjoyment, may offer benefits beyond simple pleasure. Learning music, listening to music and playing the piano can help one in other activities.

The Mozart Effect and the temporary improvement of the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks are intriguing. This suggests it may be beneficial to listen to Mozart before you sit down to practice the piano. It may be a good thing to listen to Mozart before you sit down to construct a product. Maybe your next game of chess will improve after listening to Mozart.

The Mozart Effect may be beneficial to your actual piano playing in a variety of ways. Combining classical music listening with structured piano study can give you a total music education. It can accomplish this in three ways:

o First, the Mozart Effect may improve immediate piano study. Before you sit down for your regular piano practice session, listen to some Mozart. The temporary improvement of your spatio-temporal reasoning may be just the boost you need to get the most out of that session.

Make sure you get to the piano though in short time. Research suggests that this performance improvement benefit is not something that endures. In fact, some research suggests that the Mozart Effect may only last 10 or 15 minutes. That's an excuse to sit down and listen to more Mozart, then get back to the keyboard again and practice.

o Second, Mozart, or other classical music, may pack that emotional punch you need. The majesty of the music can inspire you to sit down and create music of your own. This is the transformative power of organized, rhythmic, harmonic and melodic sound. The beauty of the music you hear works on your mind and emotions and can encourage action.

o Third, research showing that early childhood exposure to classical music is beneficial means you can boost mental development early on. They may grasp music concepts and principles and recognize sound patterns better later in life. The Mozart Effect is something to consider when teaching children music.

This beneficial effect on mental development may also pay other dividends. In later years, it may help individuals striving to excel in academia and in their careers. This is a significant point that those who research the Mozart Effect espouse. They speak of the long-term benefit of sustained exposure to classical music and how it boosts mental function.

Consider the benefits of Mozart's music beyond the immediate pleasure of listening. Research further to find out how the Mozart Effect may help you in your efforts to improve your performance of daily tasks. In addition, consider how the Mozart Effect may help your piano study. You may find there's more to his music than meets the ear.


How To Play The Accordion

An accordion is one of the most interesting sounding musical instruments there is. It combines the sounds of the piano with a keyboard. Learning to play the accordion will take practice but can be a very fun and worthwhile hobby to undertake if you want to learn to play a musical instrument. If you have never played an accordion you should either find a teacher that can provide lessons on the basics or at least purchase a few books for beginners. Having the general idea of how the instrument works and is suppose to sound will help you be able to advance easier and more quickly.

Once you have your accordion you will have to learn to hold it correctly. To do this, stand behind the instrument so the keys are facing your right side. Put your arms into the straps supporting the accordion with your shoulders. Place your left hand underneath the strap on the left side of the instrument. Next you will need to undo the buckles that hold the accordion together so that movement will be allowed. Press down one of the keys and let the accordion come open while supporting it with your left hand. It is important to try to learn to play without bending over to see where your fingers are. Try playing the same note over and over until you get the feel of how the instrument is suppose to open and close to make the proper sounds.

The chord and bass notes are located underneath where your left hand rests. They are organized in rows. Try to locate the bass C button and hold it down. When you locate it and press it down you will notice that the accordion opens quite easily. When this happens, use your left hand to continue to play by pushing the accordion open and closed.

Hiring a teacher to give you lessons is a great way to learn how to play properly. Sometimes it is much quicker and easier to watch someone that is a professional play, as it allows you to see the correct finger placement and hear the sounds that can be made by playing the instrument the correct way. DVD's can also help if you can't afford to hire a teacher or would just rather learn on your own. If neither of these appeal to you you can always learn by trial and error. Practice until you can play at least one song without stopping. Continue to play that song over and over, then move on to a new tune.

Because the accordion is counted as a bellows instrument many sounds can be procured by it when it is played correctly. The bellows of an accordion is the part that opens and closes. It has been being played for many years and enjoyed by many that like music such as Polka.


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