Pianists: Don’t make three mistakes from one

I’m not sure why, but many piano students stop playing and say “Sorry” when they play a wrong note.

As a piano teacher, part of my goal is to relax this tendency in them. After all, I say, they have nothing to be “sorry” about. On the contrary, I’m glad that they’re trying hard to play piano and take my musical suggestions, and this in itself is accomplishing the goal.

Furthermore, when they stop playing after a wrong note, they’ve magnified the mistake and made it into two. Then, by apologizing, they’ve magnified it threefold.

Sometimes I’ll lighten the situation by suggesting they smile and say “whoopsiedaisey”after playing a wrong note.

Eventually they learn to simply recover from wrong note in tempo and forget about them. We’re all human, and we make mistakes. If we keep the flow of the music going, the music will absorb the mistake and it will become irrelevant. That’s another reason why we don’t need to apologize. There’s actually nothing to apologize for!

So the next time you play a wrong note, simply smile to yourself and continue playing. For one thing, it’s proof that you’re human. For another, you don’t want to make three mistakes from one.

Enjoy the journey, and “let the music flow!”

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