Are you confused about how to practice the piano?
I was for longer than I’m comfortable admitting.
Sure, the concept of sitting down and playing through each practice item on your list sounds easy.
But does endlessly repeating something guarantee that you’ll eventually master it?
Or is there a better way to approach practice?
And just how much time should you set aside each day for practice sessions?
When it comes to practice, it can seem like there are more questions than answers.
But today’s post answers your burning practice questions. It also introduces you to a revolutionary deliberate practice tool that will revolutionize how you approach practicing the piano.
And it will help you prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to your practice routine.
If you’re ready to dive deep into the practice world, let’s start with an introduction to the Modacity app.
What is Modacity?
Modacity is an app that was initially created by Marc Gelfo.
As a lifelong lover of music, Gelfo eventually became a professional French horn player performing with international symphonies, including the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
Aside from his work in classical music, Gelfo studied at Northwestern University, eventually earning a cognitive science degree and a computer science degree.
His passion for developing a tool to help himself practice more effectively and in line with how the human brain learns eventually led to the creation of Modacity.
My Experience with Modacity
I discovered Modacity several years ago after hearing Marc Gelfo on a podcast.
And I was immediately drawn to his message of how to be more intentional with practice.
Although I had already graduated with a baccalaureate degree in music by this point, my practice habits left something to be desired.
I wanted to be a goal-oriented musician but needed to figure out exactly how.
My primary learning method was endlessly repeating things until muscle memory took over, an approach I later learned was one of the most reliable ways to bring on a memory lapse.
The other practice sin I regularly committed was inconsistent practice.
Inspiration would strike, and I would practice for hours one day but then wouldn’t practice again for several days or weeks.
When I sat back down at the keyboard, I had forgotten everything I had worked on during the previous session.
I wanted to improve my piano skills but wasn’t sure how.
Changing my practice ways felt like a truly daunting challenge.
Structured Piano Practice
Modacity has several unique mastery features that have helped me improve how I approach piano practice, and it all starts with practice lists.
The first step in being more deliberate with your practice involves creating a practice list.
You can create a separate practice list for each day of the week or create a list with a specific goal in mind.
I recommend you start by listing out each piece you’re currently playing.
- Bagatelle in A Major
- Waltz in A Minor
- Prelude in C Minor
The next step is figuring out what specific thing(s) you’re trying to improve in each piece.
If you’re taking lessons, ask your teacher what specific items you need to improve. Examples may include:
- Maintaining an even tempo throughout
- Coordinating your hands together
- Making a distinct change in dynamics
- Note accuracy
And if you’re learning on your own, this is where the magic of Modacity comes in.
The app gives you suggestions from various categories, including
You can then decide what specific practice item will improve your performance of the piece.
Once you’ve figured out your specific goals for each piece, you can separate them into different days of the week.
Organizing Your Practice Lists
Once you’ve created the practice lists, you can add each song from your practice repertoire.
And from there, add notes about areas where you seek improvement.
Another unique feature is the ability to add a timer to each practice item in the list.
This feature is a godsend if you, like me, spend too much time on one song, and your precious practice time suddenly slips away, leaving everything else incomplete.
When it’s time to practice, select the appropriate practice list. Click on the first song, and the timer will start counting down, alerting you when it’s time to switch songs.
Another valuable feature of Modacity is the focus on deliberate practice over mindless repetitions.
Key components of deliberate practice include figuring out what you want to improve, trying something to fix it, and then listening back to see whether there was an improvement.
Deliberate practice is not repeating something 10,000 times and then calling it good.
Efficient practice requires thought and being intentional about improvement. It requires listening to yourself to see whether your goals were met.
Modacity supports mindful practice by giving you ideas about musical areas to explore improving upon.
And it also has a recording feature so you can record a measure or two or an entire sonata.
Regularly recording trains you to listen to your playing and helps you figure out whether your practice tactic achieved the result for which you were looking.
It’s also very motivating to go back through and listen to old recordings because you realize how far you’ve come!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Modacity offer customer service?
I can tell you from personal experience that Modacity has exceptional customer service.
If you’re stuck during a practice session, hit the Ask Us button on the lower right-hand of the screen to chat with the team.
I’ve always gotten great responses from the team when I’ve run into issues. The Modacity team is passionate about the art of music practice and wants you to have a great experience with the app!
How long should I practice?
It’s different for everyone and depends on your goals and what else is going on in your life.
Generally speaking, it’s ideal to practice in shorter bursts of time more frequently in comparison to marathon sessions.
Modacity helps you stay on task with the timer feature. You can set a timer, and it will alert you when it’s time to move on.
If you’re trying to establish a daily practice routine, aim for 10 minutes a day.
As you practice more, you can gradually increase this time, but aiming for 10 minutes is a great way to start.
And it’s even better if you can fit several 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
Can I use the Modacity app with any instrument?
Absolutely! The app also features a drone generator and metronome.
Think of Modacity as the Swiss army knife of music practice. It has all the features to help you succeed in the practice room, regardless of your instrument.
Do I have to practice every day?
If you want to make progress, it’s best to practice daily.
And for optimal results, keep those sessions short. It will be easier to get yourself to sit down when you know you only have to do it for 10 minutes versus forcing yourself to play for 2 hours.
Modacity helps you stay motivated by sending you practice reminders and keeping track of your practice time.
The app also tallies up your consecutive days of practice, a feature that encourages you to keep returning to the keyboard day after day.
Is Modacity a practice journal?
You can think of Modacity as an electronic practice journal or even a music practice assistant.
Musicians of all backgrounds will appreciate the Modacity system for its focus on helping you make the most of your practice time.
It can also reduce your random combination of music practice apps by replacing your metronome app.
Modacity helps you cut down on the list of things floating around in your mind by sending you reminders to help you stick with a practice schedule.
All this without any pesky papercuts.
Are there other resources for learning about the art of practice?
My favorite practice resource comes from The Bulletproof Musician, a blog and podcast by Noa Kageyama.
Noa regularly features professional musicians with their best practice advice for mastering the art of practicing.
He also features various research studies to uncover the best way to approach more effective practice in a shorter amount of time.
His blog and podcast are a wealth of information on the art of practicing and performing, so the next time you’re looking for inspiration, check out The Bulletproof Musician.
The Modacity blog also offers information about practice techniques, including interleaving strategies and the link between neuroscience and effective practice.
If you want to learn more about practice, the Modacity blog is worth checking out.
Whether you’re just starting out with the piano or are a seasoned professional, Modacity is the perfect practice partner!
This amazing app is designed to help you focus on deliberate practice so that you can make the most of your time in less time.
And it’s loaded with features that support this type of practice, including timers, recording capabilities, and performance analytics.
Thanks to its all-in-one design, you can delete all the other different apps you’re currently using to manage your practice needs.
If you’re looking for a practice partner to help you stay on track and achieve your most significant success as a musician, Modacity is definitely worth checking out!
And if you found this post helpful, check out my other piano-inspired content!
- Playground Sessions Review: Waste of Time or Worth the Hype?
- Acoustic vs. Digital Piano: Which One is Right for You?
- Can You Learn to Play Piano by Watching YouTube Videos?
- The Best Ways to Learn Piano in 2023
- How to Set Realistic Piano Goals and Accomplish Them
- Can You Really Learn Piano Without a Teacher?
- Your Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Piano Practice Routine
- Ranking the Best Budget Digital Pianos
- A Complete Review of ProPractice by Dr. Josh Wright
- Easy Brain Hacks to Upgrade Your Piano Playing