As everyone in Singapore probably already knows, students in Singapore have some of the busiest timetables in the world. Even if they are not stressing out over examinations, they are stressing out over projects, small tests or the most common issue which never seems to go away – lots of home work. Rest and holidays for schools in Singapore are not true holidays. There are still tons of home work. This is the case in Singapore for primary up to JC level. Therefore, how should Singaporean students practise their piano skills? Playing the piano masterfully requires a ton of practice sessions, and this can be hard if they are also a student and going through a lot of other things. Here are some tips to help you or your child out if you or your child is schooling and taking the ABRSM piano examinations at the same time so that you or your child do not get stressed out. Additionally, the following tips will help you or your child to ace the the Singapore ABRSM piano examinations even with Singapore students’ busy academic timetables!
First and foremost, you need to understand that short but daily practices are more important than long dragged out practice sessions on the piano. This is because you want to instill consistency into yourself. If you practise for hours on the weekend, but cannot put in the same level of effort on the weekdays, you are going to give up practising after some time. This is simple human psychology. You want to take small steps, and not giant leaps to create a good piano practice habit. Practising 20 minutes a day, with 2 to 3 random scales each time, 1 random sight reading piece and the 3 piano pieces is sufficient. Just do this daily. The key is to do it daily.
Second of all, a simple way to practise is to always put it before or after something. E.g. if you want, you can always practise after you bathe while waiting for your hair to dry. Or, you could always practise the piano after your dinner. You can peg it to another activity that you do daily, and preferably do it after the other activity. The reason for having your piano practice session after is so that you do not feel stressed if the other activity is urgent. For example, if you always force yourself to practise the piano before your dinner, what will you do if dinner plans needed to be pushed ahead? You will suddenly have no time to practise and as mentioned above, you may not be consistent anymore. However, if you practise it after your dinner, then you have no stress, and if it is getting late and you do not stay in a bungalow, you can put the silent mode on your piano and still continue practising!
Another tip is that you can practise right after your piano lesson of that week. This is because any feedback by your piano teacher will probably still be clearly remembered by you, and you know exactly how to improve on your weaknesses.
So there you go, the above are tips to help you practise on the piano consistently even if you are a busy Singaporean student!