Are you looking for ways to improve your piano practice sessions but aren’t sure how? Do you want to make the most of your time in front of the keyboard? Does the whole concept of practice secretly mystify you a bit, but you don’t want to admit it to anyone?
I completely understand because I’ve been there before too. Despite having studied piano since the age of 7 and obtaining a baccalaureate degree in music, practice baffled me.
And maybe it’s the analytical side of my brain trying to control the creative side. After all, I have a doctorate in nursing (emphasis on science) and a passion for playing piano and writing (focus on creativity). My life, therefore, often feels like a constant battle between the scientific and the innovative.
Still, I consistently had this nagging feeling that I wasn’t practicing the “right” way. This feeling stemmed from the fact that my performances were hit or miss. There were times when I performed brilliantly but others when I questioned whether I was sight-reading in front of an audience rather than performing a piece I had practiced a billion times before.
The seeming unpredictability of my playing inspired a deep dive into the art of practice. And although the concept of effective and intuitive piano practice is a puzzle I’m still piecing together, I’ve discovered a mind-blowing piano practice app that changed everything for me.
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The #1 Piano Practice App
My desire for a better way led me on an exhaustive search for reputable resources on effective practice techniques. Eventually, I discovered podcasts. More specifically, I stumbled upon an interview with Marc Gelfo.
Although I don’t remember the specific podcast, I do remember Marc, a French horn player, discussing his passion for the art of practicing. He also talked openly about his challenges with practice. These challenges led Marc on a journey of discovery. And eventually, the development of an app to help other musicians improve their practice techniques.
The app is called ‘Modacity,‘ and after hearing how it came about, I was intrigued. I was so fascinated by Modacity that I decided to try it for myself.
It’s been over two years, and I continue to use the app on an almost daily basis. And thanks to Modacity, I’ve overcome several key practice challenges which previously held me back. Such challenges include what to do when motivation fails and establishing better practice habits, active listening during practice sessions, and being more intentional when practicing.
Read on for all the juicy details and an exclusive offer from Modacity, hands down the best piano practice app out there!
If there’s anything that being a working mom of 3 has taught me, it’s that sometimes putting the “I should” in front of “I want” is all too easy. I’m not saying this is entirely a negative quality. After all, our kids need our love, attention, and their physical needs to grow and thrive.
But there comes a point at which self-sacrifice becomes a narrative that carries you off into a sea of obligation and resentment.
And becoming a mom did not diminish my passion for the piano or the desire to improve my pianistic skills. Yet shuffling aside my desire for quiet practice time was starting to become all too routine.
Although I love practice time, my tendency to prioritize it behind other activities (including Netflix bingeing) proves passion isn’t enough. And neither is motivation because it fails to inspire regular practice sessions.
I needed something else entirely to up my practice game. Something that would help me overcome my tendency to put everything else first.
My desire to establish a more regular practice routine eventually led me to a deep dive into habits. And I ultimately discovered four essential books which answered my questions about why motivation isn’t the key to consistency. And, most importantly, how to achieve consistency in whatever it is you’re trying to do.
From Motivation to Habits
The four highly thought-provoking books that revamped my thoughts on motivation include Indistractable by Nir Eyal, Do Less by Kate Northrup, Atomic Habits by James Clear, and Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin., , ,
Although each author addresses habits from a slightly different angle, my main takeaway was how individualized habit formation could be. And for me, tracking is critical.
Tracking wasn’t an entirely new concept to me. An avid runner, I’ve consistently tracked both my time and distance, finding satisfaction in making comparisons between days, weeks, months, and even years.
Being able to input my time and distance to increase my overall mileage encourages me to get out of bed in the morning. It makes those early morning workouts entirely worth it!
And so, when I discovered that Modacity tracks statistics, including the number of consecutive days and hours, as well as the number of improvements made thus far, I was ecstatic! Tracking offers the perfect incentive to sit down at the keyboard even when my kitchen is a disaster or I have five baskets of laundry to fold.
The small endorphin rush I get from ticking those stats upward is enough to overcome the excuses I constantly conjure up about why I shouldn’t practice. Even if I only have 5 minutes to practice, it feels worth adding to my total practice tally.
If you also struggle with motivation, I highly recommend checking out the tracking feature on this app!
Plan Your Practice
How many times have you sat down to practice with zero plan for how you will spend your time? You then find yourself aimlessly playing repertoire you’ve already mastered or sight-reading whatever random music is near your piano.
Or maybe you don’t have the opportunity to practice until late in the day when you’ve already made 15,362 decisions, and your brain is tired of critical thinking. And by this point, you can’t bring yourself to organize a productive piano practice session thoughtfully.
Both scenarios have the potential to send you to frustration and burnout over a lack of progress. This is especially true if you are at a stage in life when you’re working without a teacher.
Although I am a strong advocate for working one-on-one with a teacher, there are simply times when it’s not feasible. Life gets busy! Between work, family life, and all the other demands of daily living, finding time to focus on improving at the keyboard is challenging.
But having a limit on your time is the exact reason that practice needs to have focus. But having a limit on your time is the exact reason that practice needs to have focus—the type of focus that guarantees improvement and piano success.
Fortunately, Modacity has a solution.
If you’re looking for a piano teacher, check out this list of teachers currently accepting students.
Organize Your Repertoire with a Piano Practice App
This piano practice app can save the titles of each piece you’re currently practicing. Each piece also has its own screen, complete with a readily accessible metronome.
I love this feature because I never have to remember the speed I practiced during my previous session.
You can also organize playlists for yourself which contain everything you need to work on at any given time. I will often set up a practice playlist for myself in the morning when my brain is fresh, and I’m at my best. Modacity also allows you to set timers on each piece within your playlist.
Setting timers is a great feature because I sometimes tend to dwell too long on one area and then run out of time for anything else. The act of setting a timer forces a limit and promotes efficiency. And as a recovering perfectionist, it also encourages me to be “good enough” rather than “perfect” before moving on.
I love organizing playlists and setting time limits on each piece before my practice session because it ensures more effective practice at the moment. It’s a feature that has helped me approach practice from a completely new and holistic perspective.
If you are struggling to make intentional progress or feel that practice is more of an afterthought right now, change it up! Try Modacity today!
Listen and Improve
This next feature may seem fairly obvious, but I was thrilled about its inclusion! As a pianist, one of your main goals is to transform black and white notes on a page into an auditory experience that is technically accurate and emotionally moving.
And as a fellow pianist, I’m confident you will agree when I say this goal is often much easier said than done!
But even as difficult as pulling off a Rachmaninoff concerto can be, a compelling performance is our goal. With that said, how often do you take the time to determine whether you’re meeting this goal?
Even if you regularly take lessons from an outstanding teacher, it’s essential to develop the ability to listen to yourself critically. After all, you are the one who listens to you the most. And wouldn’t it be incredible to provide feedback to yourself between lessons?
Looking for another unique way to up your piano game? Check out this post!
Self-Analysis Made Simple with a Piano Practice App
Luckily, Modacity tracks more than simple practice stats. This piano practice app also has a convenient recording feature that allows you to hit record at any time during your practice session.
You may be asking yourself whether the extra effort of hitting the record button and listening to the playback is worth it. Doesn’t listening while playing serve the same purpose?
The answer to that question is a resounding no.
And Gerald Klickstein, author of The Musician’s Way, has the best explanation I’ve heard yet about why simultaneous playing and self-analysis of the playing are impossible. His answer has to do with music existing in time rather than space. In other words, once you play something, it’s gone forever. After you’ve finished playing, only your memory of what you played exists.
Memory is often incredibly fickle, influenced by both emotion and the perception of your performance. Furthermore, the areas of the brain used to make and analyze music are different.
As an example, and according to the University of Central Florida, the cerebellum is the area of the brain used to coordinate movement, while Wernicke’s area assists in musical analysis. And although it’s possible to use multiple regions of your brain simultaneously, it’s challenging to focus on more than one thing at a time.
It’s almost like adding 368 and 863 in your head while spelling Claude Debussy aloud. It simply doesn’t work.
Recording: The Easiest Solution
Despite the tendency to convince ourselves otherwise, the example above proves multitasking is a myth. Therefore, the simplest way to determine whether you’re meeting your practice goals is to record yourself. And then play it back to decide whether you’re hitting the mark.
Luckily, Modacity makes recording a breeze! During every practice session, you have the ever-present option to hit “record.” After doing so, listen back and determine whether you met your mark. If so, saving the recording is as easy as hitting a button and naming the file. If the recording didn’t meet your standard, you could just as effortlessly delete and record again.
And you have the option of recording as few as one note or as many as an entire sonata. It’s entirely up to you. Whatever the length of your recording, taking the time to listen AND make improvements are both crucial elements in your development as a pianist.
Although recording in and of itself is of incredible value, Modacity even takes it a step further. This piano practice app allows you to select a specific area to make improvements. And by doing so, it forces you to focus on the ONE thing you most want to improve upon at this moment.
The app first gives you the option of selecting a pre-filled area such as rhythm, tone, enjoyment, or filling one in yourself. You then have the opportunity to give it a try while recording. The app automatically plays it back and then asks whether whatever you tried worked. If the targeted practice improved your playing, you can either try it again or move on to a different area.
And if the targeted practice did not improve your playing, you can either try again or move to a different tactic.
Methodical Practice by Using a Piano Practice App
This particular feature has been one of the most valuable to me in creating more intention around practice. Before the app, I did SO MUCH mindless repetition. Deep inside, I knew that repetition does not result in improvement. But I had never found a better way. I had never forced myself to be intentional with my practice time.
My practice had always felt somewhat haphazard. As if there wasn’t enough time in the day to practice everything I wanted to practice. I also felt as if I had no idea how to make progress in my playing in the first place.
Therefore, the combination of overwhelm and uncertainty resulted in a tendency toward mindlessly repeating my pieces instead of approaching practice with a sense of mindful intention.
But Modacity taught me the importance of systematic practice. It helped me understand how focusing on ONE thing at a time creates faster progress than trying to make a bunch of changes all at once. And it gave me ideas about where to focus during practice.
Modacity has been the blueprint for the positive changes I’ve longed to build into my piano practice sessions.
It’s Your Turn
Modacity has been a staple in my practice life for over two years now, and I owe my piano progress over that time to this miraculous app.
I believe so strongly in the transformative power of Modacity that I sought out an affiliate partnership and am ecstatic to be able to offer an incredible discount to you! By clicking this link, you will have exclusive access to a discount on the yearly Modacity membership. Instead of paying $107 for an annual membership, you will pay only $65!
If you’ve also been struggling with various aspects of piano practice, it’s time to embrace a change. It’s time to consider a piano practice app that intuitively fosters better habits. And better practice habits mean faster progress, more satisfaction from your playing, and an even deeper love for the instrument.
Don’t wait! Take advantage of this incredible offer and start transforming your piano practice today!
And as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post! Make sure you drop a comment below about how this piano practice app revolutionizes your playing!
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