Here are nine ideas off the top of my head you can use to make your practicing more productive and satisfying:
- Practice music and skills that genuinely interest you.
- Think of practice as problem solving (as opposed to repetition).
- Don’t force yourself to practice if you are tired or tense, because being tense at the piano can become a habit.
- Pay attention to how your body feels when you practice. In general, if something is uncomfortable, you’re probably doing it wrong.
- Recording yourself is one of the most effective ways to practice. Record, listen, evaluate, refine, and repeat. Video recording is better than just audio.
- Analyze the music as if you are a conductor, and decide what you want to do with each phrase. Try lots of different possibilities.
- Get up off of the piano bench and walk around the room, singing and conducting the music you are working on.
- Find a balance between trying to perfect the smallest, fussiest details, and working on the overall picture. Do both of these things.
- Spend time playing without a goal. Just enjoy sitting at the piano, making music.