Why you should play more easy piano pieces
My dear intermediate and advanced students, can I give you some advice? Play more easy piano pieces!
In my years as a piano teacher, I meet many intermediate and advanced players who
And no wonder, when I hear they’ve spent the last six months trying to play just 1 or 2 complex pieces.
The complexity of the repertoire at the intermediate, and particularly the advanced level, can be a big roadblock. It may take weeks, often months to learn a piece to the point where the student can perform it confidently.
This is an elusive moment that almost ALL piano students desperately seek. The moment where they can ‘just play’.
I’ve talked in the past about the importance of learning to improvise to help you get that feeling of music-making instantly. This is particularly important for beginners who are still learning to read musical notation.
But for intermediates and advanced pianists, there exists another path that opens up the feeling of instant satisfaction of sitting down and playing.
And here it is: Play more easy piano pieces.
So many intermediate and advanced students fall into the trap of always trying to reach up; always trying to get to the next level; always wanting to play something harder.
The idea seems to be that once you’ve reached a grade 8, you shouldn’t have to worry about, say, grade 3 pieces.
Or… is that exactly what you should be doing?
I recommend students, once they get to the intermediate and advanced stages, to look BACK as much as they look forward.
Grab some ‘easy’ pieces and play through them. You’ll learn them quickly and you’ll perform them more confidently.
In fact, I can think of no less than 5 solid reasons it is crucial for intermediate and advanced level pianists to incorporate beginner and early intermediate pieces into their practice:
Lots of repertoire means lots of variety. It stimulates your musical appetite!
Think about it. If you’ve reached a grade 6 standard, you can sightread a grade 2 piece. And with a bit of digging you’ll uncover a huge variety of literature at that level in a wide variety of styles.
Playing easier piano pieces will highlight weaknesses in your technique.
It will surprise you how despite your grade 7, you might still struggle a little to play a grade 4
Being able to play lots of pieces will help you find those technical weak spots and practise them, and that will of course only aid you in your journey to
Playing through lots of styles make you a more versatile musician.
By exploring lots of different pieces, from baroque to modern pop, you’ll learn a wide variety of interpretation, articulation, and musical styles.
Easier piano repertoire will boost satisfaction and enjoyment of ‘just playing’.
If you can pretty much sight-read a piece, or learn to perform it confidently in a week, that means you’ll get that incredible feeling of ‘making music’ much more quickly.
Playing easier material will keep you motivated.
The biggest advantage in my book is that by playing lots of music that you can tackle quickly, confidently and perform beautifully, you will stay motivated to keep practising the hard stuff!
I hope I’ve made something clear.
Learning easier piano pieces is your reward for reaching intermediate and advanced levels.
So if you are currently playing at the higher levels, go ahead and dust off your old beginner books. Play through them, try pieces you’ve never tried before.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly you’ll be able to build a playlist of repertoire you can just pull from in moments where you just want to enjoy music-making.