Five Techniques/Exercises for Beginner Piano Players to Gain Finger Strength and How to Play Better

I’ve been teaching for a long time and there’s so many mistakes I’ve seen beginner piano players do. They might lift their fingers too high or apply too much pressure on the keys. That’s why this week, I’m going to be sharing five techniques that can change your piano playing and help you fix those bad habits.

1. Master the art of the five finger exercise. Place both hands in C position. Start with the left hand and play the pinky first, then the fourth finger, third finger, second finger, and the thumb. Then play going back down. Repeat this for the right hand. Each finger is being exercised here and it will help to ease any tensions in the hands. You’ll look like a professional after mastering this exercise.

2. Set your hands at C position and start with the right hand first. Play fingers 1 and 3 together at the same time. Hold it there. Then play fingers 2 and 4 together. Hold it there. Lastly, play fingers 3 and 5 together. Your hands may be shaky at first. Play slow and you’ll progressively get better. This exercise helps with finger power!

3. Relax your hands! I know this may be very difficult in the beginning and I understand. For me, my hands didn’t start to relax until years later. It’s helpful to constantly remind yourself to keep your hands relaxed. If you do this correctly, you’ll see more improvement in your playing right away.

4. Keep your fingers curved. Playing with flat fingers is tough. And if you’re a beginner, it will take some time getting used to playing with curves fingers. Work at it every day. I recommend placing curved fingers on the piano, but not playing anything. Take a look at your posture and correct yourself if needed.

5. When you’re practicing a song, as you advance a little further, make sure to practice with separate hands first. Playing with separate hands should be the first step, but you will want to start practicing with both hands right away after. You’ll see much more progress in your practice sessions this way.

Why you need to build skills

I think we are told endlessly to get good grades and go to college. And after, we’re just supposed to magically have a great job that pays a lot of money. That is false. If you are solely relying on any degree to be successful, you are sorely mistaken. You will need to be better than the rest of the pack. Everyone around you will have a degree, so what makes you so special with your degree?

In order to set yourself apart from other people, you have to be unique. Your skills will make you more hirable and attractive to job employers. Sadly, everyone wants to the best and not everyone can be. If you start early and begin building valuable skills, your chances of having a better life are greatly going to increase.

These skills have to be unique. I can give some examples:

1. Speaking a foreign language and becoming fluent in writing/reading- you will become more hirable at law firms, translator gigs will pay much more for your time, and you can reach more audience if you blog in many different languages

2. Playing an instrument- you could probably guess that I was going to write about this and you were right. Teaching music classes, making a website of your featured pieces, or sharing them on YouTube are all viable options to become better than your peers

3. Computer knowledge- knowing how to fix computers or smartphones can lead to a good source of income. It could start with friends and family, and eventually turn into an online business

Those are just a small subset of examples I can think of. If you are creative and skilled at something, you are going to become more successful. Start building your skills day by day, and slowly start watching your progress. Use these skills as tools for gaining jobs or earning money. It will take awhile, but nothing worth having comes easily.

If you liked reading this article, please go check out my other two blogs where I post more articles 👍

Cleverly Begun

Written by a strong woman

Is thumbtack a good method of getting piano students?

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Ahhh… I think this is the age-old question that I always encounter. Is thumbtack a good method of getting students? My answer? No. I’ve had a lot of teachers recommend that I use thumbtack. I actually started out on thumbtack, but it was never a successful tool for me. Thumbtack was good…but it lacked the ability to give me good students. I only got one student from thumbtack and she was paying me in 1 dollar bills. Now, you can imagine my frustration. I was driving to her house one day for lessons in the pouring rain. My car was skidding in different directions, but thank god I managed to get to her house safely. She lived about 35-40 minutes away from me. And she wouldn’t answer her phone. I was like… okay? How am I supposed to confirm with her whether or not she is available for a lesson today? I rang her doorbell when I got there. It took her 15 minutes to answer the door. She told me that she cannot have lessons today because she has to go somewhere. In addition, she also told me that she is not planning on continuing lessons for now. I was okay with it, but I asked her to pay me for the rest of the lessons we had. I wanted the payment now because I knew I wouldn’t see her for awhile. She was hesitant, but she came back with a large stack of 1 dollar bills for $25. I drove all the way over to her house just to have a lesson canceled in person! This isn’t the first experience I had with thumbtack. I decided to give it multiple tries and it wasn’t successful. Students wanted the cheapest price, but they also wanted good reviews. They WANTED to start learning the piano, but they want it to be free. Not everything in life is going to be free. I can guarantee you that if you are contemplating on using thumbtack, make sure that you are actually getting clients/students. Do not continue to use it if the people you get are flaky or hesitant because thumbtack charges you for every request that you make. I would continue to use it periodically if they let you do a free quote. Otherwise, I highly recommend other methods of getting students.

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The beginning.

I’m very new to blogging. I’ve made many posts on Facebook about teaching and my experience with the piano, but I feel like that was different somehow. Making my own business was a harsh, daunting task. I often found myself stuck at a low number of students for awhile and I just wasn’t making enough money to support myself. It wasn’t until I decided to just go for it, that I grew my piano studio exponentially. I mean… I literally grew it over a three day span.

I plan to share with you how I set up my studio, what I did to maintain my studio, and how I advertised.

In the beginning, I was living in my parent’s home. And that was great because it allowed me to host my classes there. It was a place for me to invite students and teach. It may seem very easy to teach someone, but I STRUGGLED. I wasn’t good at teaching and many people were dropping out of my studio. This was very discouraging for someone at the age of 20. Why didn’t people like me? Why were they just ignoring my calls? Did I do something wrong? The answer to all of these questions was… calm down. I needed to stop worrying about the negative things. I was a beginner. How could I expect to keep 5 students at a time when I literally had 0 students two weeks ago? My advice for you is to keep calm. Do not be discouraged by students canceling or not showing up. Remember that people are busy and they are trying their best. Do not judge everyone right away and you will save yourself a lot of heartache.

After 2-3 years of maintaining my studio, I found myself getting used to a routine. I was always checking my schedule and managing my time well. My motto was to never be late to anything. And that worked! People started to like me and they were very pleased with my service. I guess the best part of teaching was that it was very flexible. Maintaining your studio is not very difficult. You just have to stay focused, organized, and dedicated; these three traits are very important to maintaining and keeping your studio.

Stay tuned for another blog post about how to effectively advertise 🙂

Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow so you don’t miss future blogs!

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Find me on my other social media platforms:

INSTAGRAM: Pocketfuloflearn

FACE BOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pocketfuloflearning/

BLOG: https://pocketfuloflearning.wordpress.com/

TWITTER: Pocketfullearn

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