Piano Myth Number Fifteen

I should practice my new songs at the written tempo.
By Jo Ann Vick


I am constantly having to tell my students to s l o w  d o w n!
A common mistake when learning a new piece of music is to play the song too fast. What I mean by that is if you go faster than your ability to play accurately, even if it is the written tempo, then you will make more mistakes than necessary. Accuracy is more important than speed when you are learning a piece.

You have to play it slowly enough to play it through accurately. The information on the page has to be processed by your brain and then down to your hands. If it's a new piece of music, you can't process the information that fast. You have to train your brain by practicing a piece over and over so it knows what is coming next. The brain actually anticipates what is coming. Then gradually increase the speed until you can accurately play it at the written tempo.

Jo Ann Vick is a private piano instructor with 20 years of training and performing experience
and has a home based studio in Frisco, Texas. Her mission is to develop in others, a love
for playing the piano. Her website is located at

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