Do you want to know one simple thing you can do to dramatically improve as a pianist?
It's easy: Give yourself social motivation and accountability.
I don't mean that you have to invite all your friends over for a weekly piano recital or anything like that. I simply mean that you can publicly or semi-publicly document your practicing.
Here are some ideas you can do on a weekly basis (make sure you pick the same day each week):
1. Post on Facebook about what you've practiced in the previous week and what you intend to practice in the upcoming week.
2. Create a YouTube channel and make a short weekly video of you playing what you're practicing. Don't try to be "perfect," just document where you're at. If you don't want the whole world to see these videos, you can post them as "unlisted" so only you and people you want to can see you play.
3. Start a WordPress blog called "My Pianistic Journey" or something like that and write a weekly update. Share your musical efforts, challenges, and successes. (Disable comments if you want.) You'd be surprised at the encouragement you'll get from people you know and maybe those you meet along the way. You never know how many aspiring pianists you'll inspire by doing this!
I'm sure you can find other ways to give yourself social motivation and accountability like this. The general idea is that by putting something "out there in the world," and committing to doing so on a weekly basis, you'll end up practicing more and gain more consistency in your practicing (even if you occasionally miss a few days or week.)
Believe it or not, this really works! I've seen it again and again; the piano students who share their efforts with others, whether online or in a musical community are the ones who improve the most. Weekly piano lessons help in this way, too. (How many times have you sat down to practice because "I have a piano lesson tomorrow!)
There is power in community and you'll benefit from documenting your efforts in this way. Take a small step towards doing this and over time you'll reap the benefits in a big way.
Good luck and remember, "the path is the goal!"
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