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Why is practice so critical?

There are a few things we do in life for which we needed no practice, for example: breathing. Nearly every other thing that we do in life is a result of having aquired a skill, for example: Eating from a spoon, walking, reading, and talking. Those things are so ordinary and common to us, that we do them without even thinking about them. Playing the piano is an aquired skill, that can become just as automatic for you as talking.

I remember the first time I bought a car. What a traumatic experience! Negotating the price, title offices, taxes, registration, plates, the courthouse. So much to do! Last month I bought my fourth car. It was so easy, I hardly felt any unease at all about the process. I have developed a skill for buying cars. Playing the piano is similar, you sit down for the first time, and you have a lot of fear, and you don't know what you are doing, and you goof up, and hope nobody will make fun of you. Before long though, you get used to the feel of the keys under your fingers, and you start to automatically reach for the right notes.

Playing the piano is like typing. If you can pick out at least one key at a time on a typewriter, you can play the piano. The same principle is involved: making your fingers press a button. Anyone that can press a button can play the piano.

Practice is the fundamental key to learning to play a musical instrument. The more time you spend with the instrument, the better you get at making it do what you want. The better it sounds to you, the more you like to spend time with it, so you get better and better at it, and you like playing it more and more. If you never sit down for the first session though, and suffer through the anguish of hitting the wrong keys, and making bad sounds, you will never know the joy of carefreely making some dots on a page come alive as a beautiful melody.

Anyone who can feed themselves can learn to play the piano, so sit down and play!

It doesn't matter if you have a teacher, or a specially designed book, just sit down at the piano and press the keys. If you have some sheet music, play what is written on the page, if you don't have sheet music, play your favorite songs by ear. (Gasp) "You mean to tell me I can play the piano by ear?" Absolutely. The way to play the piano by ear is simple... Play the piano by ear. In other words, to play the piano by ear, practice playing the piano by ear. In time you will be able to play whatever you feel like by ear without any music.

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