In this tutorial, I will show you an amazing 20 minute piano practice for singers! As a professional singer with over forty years of piano training, I often get asked to give singers practice advice. My online courses Piano Skills for Singers have successfully served hundreds of students worldwide, and I am known for my simple and comprehensive methods.
The common complaint seems to be that there is no time to practice piano. You do not need to practice hours a day to have results! In my experience, you can make substantial progress with only 20 minutes a day. Many of my private students and members of my online course platform The Versatile Musician have reported incredible results by committing to only 20 minutes a day.
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Specific Piano Practice Routine
The key to making real progress in 20 minutes a day is to be very specific in what you are working on. In this 20-minute practice routine, I will take you through an efficient and holistic process that will develop your dexterity, music theory, chord knowledge, repertoire and sight reading. In only 20 minutes of piano practice every day, you could be making major strides on the piano!
Minutes 1-5: Finger exercises
- We always start with some simple finger exercises to warm up our hands and fingers to play. Finger exercises are also great to help build technical fluidity. Make sure you are seated correctly, with proper posture and keeping a nice, curved hand position. Practice the finger exercises hands separately and together. Add the metronome to keep your tempo steady. Your goal will be to play with excellent technique, avoiding excess tension in the fingers and hand. Don’t play too fast!
Minutes 6-10: Chord practice
- Chords are the building blocks of accompaniments, so it is important to spend time every day working on them. I like to practice chords via the circle of fifths, both clockwise and counterclockwise and up and down by half steps. Practice hands separately and also practice the chord in your right hand with your left hand playing the root. This will set up your hands to be ready to create accompaniments later!
Minutes 11-15: Song play on piano
- This is the time to work through your repertoire. Take a moment and work out some of the challenging parts of the song. You won’t have time to play the entire song, so choose an excerpt that needs work and focus on that.
Minutes 16-20: Sight reading on piano
- Sight reading is a long-term goal, so you need to be working on it every single day. You don’t have to buy sight reading books! Just use whatever you have. Whether it is a fake book, a book of classical pieces or even a choral score, just take 4 bars at a time and just play the right hand. Work on playing the pitches first, followed by clapping the rhythms. When you have mastered those, then put them together.
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- If you have time, take a few moments and play something fun. This is a great time to sing and play a favorite song, review a song you have already worked on or sit and improvise for a while. If you make it enjoyable, then you will be more likely to want to sit down and do it again tomorrow.
Piano Practice Challenge
I want to challenge you to commit to daily practice. For a measly 20 minutes a day, you could be well on your way to fluency on the keyboard. See if you can squeeze it in before work, on your lunch break, or in the evening before you turn on the tv or pick up your favorite book.
Looking for more great piano for singers content? Check out:
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Learn from master teacher Brenda Earle Stokes, who has helped hundreds of singers all over the world to build real skills in piano.