At first you think that you have plenty of time to prepare and then all of a sudden what had been months away is now only weeks away! With only 5 weeks to go, you suddenly ask yourself if you are going to be ready for your piano recital...? Of course you were given 6 months to prepare and make sure you had plenty of time to learn your piece that you had selected, but 6 months seemed so far away.... at the time that is.
Well, my first recommendation would have been to practice your piece seriously at the very beginning, but it's too late for that now. But no need to stress out. There are some techniques to help you start really preparing for your performance.
For the older and more experienced advanced students/performers.
Hopefully by now you are at least able to play through your entire piece even though it may not be performance ready yet. One of the biggest mistakes on practicing long pieces is that you continually start from the very beginning and go to the end.... and then repeat the same process. If you really wish to make more progress on your piece at a faster pace I would recommend disregarding that method of practicing.
Sitting down to practice I would recommend the following:
First a warm up of a few scales, chords, arpeggios, etc.
Second play your piece from beginning to the end. Noting which areas you are having problems on.
Go back to the areas you are having problems on and practice them in sections. Do NOT try to play quickly through the problem areas. Instead, slow down. Get your notes and fingering correct, and then the rhythm. Finally work up the speed to match the rest of your piece.
Once your have your problems sections fixed (which will probably not be done in one practice session) play your piece from beginning to end.
After your notes, fingering, rhythm and dynamics are up to where they need to be, then you can work up to a quicker tempo.
For the younger pianist or the beginner students.
The biggest thing is to just remember to practice. Or for the young student having a parent helping you practice is the key.
Remember to practice! Young beginners and beginners should not have pieces that are way above their level. So the most important thing to remember is to practice your piece a few times at least 4-5 days a week.
Do not practice quickly. Playing something quickly does not always mean that it is played correctly at that pace. Often times playing too quickly especially while learning your piece can cause a loss of technique. Technique is much more important than just trying to play as fast as you can.
Remember to have fun!!! Even though I know that performing can be super stressful, it should also be a time of excitement. Music is not only a gift to be able to learn, but to share your passion with your audience.
We are super excited for all of our piano students who are preparing for this Spring Piano Recital!