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if everything you play has mistakes in it that you can’t get rid of or you’ve hit a plateau and feel like you’ve stopped progressing as a player or there’s something that you just can’t learn to do no matter how long you spend on it it’s not because you’ve reached your limit it’s because of the way that you’re practicing YouTube is a wash with isolated practice tips but without an understanding of how practice actually works most students will make the same basic practice mistakes over and over again massively slowing down their progress well my aim today is to give you that understanding by teaching you my theory of the case of how practice works and the fundamental principles that I think it’s based on from these principles we’ll derive some simple rules for Effective practice that will allow us to improve quickly and consistently how to make muscle memory playing piano is a motor skill like handwriting or doing a backflip and we learn motor skills by creating muscle memory for them muscle memory is created when we do something physical such as playing a bar of Music simply playing through this bar creates muscle memory and that muscle memory makes me a tiny bit better at playing that bar let’s visualize my progress on this graph the left axis is how good I am at playing this specific bar of music and the bottom axis is time that first run through took about 10 seconds and made me a tiny bit better so given that I’m now obviously ready to play This Bar at lightning speed balls I got cocky and made a mistake classic that mistake created muscle memory that will make me more likely to repeat it in the future and so I’m now a tiny bit worse at playing this bar than I was a moment ago and this illustrates the first key principle of how we make muscle memory doing something right will create muscle memory for doing it right and make you better doing something wrong will create muscle memory for doing it wrong and make you worse so as a result of making that mistake I’m now more likely to repeat it on the next attempt which of course reinforces the incorrect muscle memory making me even more likely to repeat it further exacerbating the problem this is the other key principle of how muscle memory is made building muscle memory creates a feedback loop where performing in action creates muscle memory that makes us more likely to repeat that action and thus strengthen that muscle memory this feedback loop is very powerful as we can see by how easily it turned my oneoff mistake into a bad habit I’m now going to wind the clock back and try this again but this time I’m going to take a bit more Care on my first run through I take my time and manage to play the bar correctly this creates a little muscle memory makes me a little better and so my second run is a little quicker than the first which reinforces that muscle memory making me even better and so the next run through is even faster and this trend continues with every correct repetition until playing this bar as I am now out of time and without metronome is a total piece of cake again we see the power of the muscle memory feedback loop at play but now instead of exacerbating a bad habit it’s allowing me to learn something new extremely quickly so here are the big takeaways for how muscle memory is made one everything we play creates muscle memory whether we get it right or wrong and two building muscle memory creates a positive feedback loop so what does that tell us about about how to get better at piano one to learn anything we have to get it right more often than we get it wrong two we can learn something extremely quickly just by getting it right consistently while making zero mistakes and three even a relatively small number of mistakes can double the time it takes us to learn something and the more mistakes we make the worse this gets until we stop making progress all together which brings us to the first rule of effective practice make less mistakes and here are two simple ways to do do that prioritize accuracy over speed on a brand new piece this will usually mean playing completely out of time just putting the notes in the right order when we are ready to start playing in time we’ll want to use a metronome to control our speed and set it to an easy Tempo where we can reliably get it [Music] right and once we’re ready to speed something up we’ll need to do it gradually waiting till we’re comfortable and proficient at each new speed before upping the [Music] tempo basically we have to do whatever it takes to get it Bri and that’s almost always going to mean slowing down don’t gamble when you think you’re about to make a mistake don’t just roll the dice and hope that you get it right stop and only continue when you’re confident that you’re going to nail it to turn this into a habit you’ll have to be consistent with it and that will require you to take a mental step back what you’re actually playing on the piano and focus solely on stopping before you make a mistake this is a bit of a pain at first but if you do it with consistency it will quickly become a habit and you won’t even need to think about it of course we can’t prevent all mistakes and that’s okay because if we handle mistakes correctly they will actually speed up our progress rather than slow it down and all we have to do is fix every mistake immediately this will kill bad habits before they take Roots help you to figure out where and why you went wrong and force you to clean up your mistakes and get better to catch and fix every mistake you’ll need to do the following one be on the lookout for mistakes at all times and if You’ have the slightest suspicion You’ got something wrong stop and don’t move on until you’re certain either way two when you make a mistake stop and then restart from beat one of the previous bar fixing every mistake is ridiculously powerful and with the right set of practice tasks it will allow you to learn anything but spotting mistakes is much easier when you have a clearly defined practice task and the ability to tell if you did it right or not in the next next year I’ll be releasing courses on my website pianos source.com that will ensure you have everything you need to spot your mistakes and practice effectively if you can’t wait for that though you can hire me as a private teacher and I’ll give you a clear program of work and the tools you need to reach your goals book a free consultation today so now that we understand how to create muscle memory it’s time to learn how to consolidate it the power of sleep everything we learn at the piano is a type of memory and memories formed throughout the day are Consolidated during sleep this means we get better in two places during practice and during the following night’s sleep on the flip side of this is the use it or lose it principle which is the brain’s tendency to wash away or make harder to access any skill that we don’t use regularly this gives us two ways to make our practice more effective practice every day this will consolidate your piano skills with every night of sleep and prevent the brain from deleting your hard one progress you need around 10 to 15 minutes of daily practice to make good steady progress but I like to tell my stud students to aim for at least 5 minutes a day because even practicing for only 5 minutes is absolutely worth it for the reasons discussed it builds the habit of daily practice and keeps you in the game and it lowers the barrier to sitting down and getting started which is the hardest bit and then students will usually continue beyond the plan 5 minutes once they’ve sat down it’s a stupid psychological trick that works stupidly well review review review if we go a few days without practicing something we’re going to lose some of our progress thanks to to the user or loser principle we’ll then have to waste time going over Old Turf just to get back to where we were because of this it’s quicker to piece stuff together one chunk at a time getting each bit to a point where we can quickly review it as a part of our daily practice before tackling new material I have a method for doing this which is contained in the final part of the video so we’ll address that there that just leaves one more basic principle of practice that we can use to get better faster doing so is pretty complicated but I have my very own patented system which breaks it down and makes it so easy that anyone can do it the goldilock zone as we talked about we can use the muscle memory feedback loop to learn new material and skills extremely quickly but to take full advantage of this what we practice has to be set at the right difficulty for our skill level I’ll demonstrate why using this bar of music from earlier so at this point I’ve already mastered playing this bar at time so if I just keep doing that it’s only going to reinforce my existing muscle memory this has some value but it will never get me to the next level which is playing in time and So eventually I’m going to stop making progress and Plateau if I play the bar at full speed 140 BPM I’m going to get it wrong way more often than I get it [Music] right creating bad habits and undoing all the good work that I’ve done at 80 BPM I can stop myself before I make a mistake so I won’t lose progress but this Tempo is still a struggle for me so it takes me ages to get the first couple correct repetitions and start taking advantage of the muscle memory feedback loop I’ll get there eventually but it’s a painfully slow way to improve at 50 BPM I still have to master playing the bar in time but it’s slow enough that I can reliably play the bar correctly and thus quickly take advantage of the muscle memory feedback [Music] loop it’s not too easy not too hard but just right and so it falls into the goldilock Zone all practice tasks in the goldilock zone have two key features one they force us to master a new skill and two they’re easy enough that we can quickly take advantage of the muscle memory feedback loop practicing in the Gil loock Zone will allow you to get better faster and provide you with fun engaging challenges that won’t be too easy and boring or too hard and frustrating tasks that are too easy or too hard will slow our progress down by a little or a lot depending on how excessively difficult or easy they are how to stay in the Gil loock Zone to stay in the Gil loock Zone we have to adjust the difficulty of what we’re practicing so that it’s the right level for us we can make tasks easier or Harder by modifying them in various ways but finding the right combination is pretty complicated and it’s only through my years of teaching that I’ve started to develop a nose for it so instead of teaching students to do this themselves I’ve spent years experimenting with systems that keep students in the godil loock zone as they practice throughout the week I’ve tried a lot of different approaches and so far this is the best one that I’ve come up with wow this system creates a series of clear practice tasks that gently walk the student to their goal while keeping them in the gieck zone it’s also got a review system that prevents students from losing progress and makes it possible to complete big projects on the piano with just 10 to 15 minutes of day daily practice I plan to use this system in my courses and some of my future tutorials so I want to do a dedicated walkthrough for it in the next video to keep it easy to find and reference this thing has made a crazy difference to my practice and my teaching and it’s been great fun watching my students just Rock It Forward since they started using it it’s totally changed my relationship with the piano and I hope that it can do the same for [Music] you …

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