Practicing without a Piano

In light of the 100 day challenge we are running for the 2017-2018 school year, I'm sure many of you are wondering, "but what about when I'm on vacation, or don't have a piano handy?" Well, you could always try fitting the piano in your car (or getting a portable Roll-Up Piano) but just in case that doesn't work, never fear! We've got lots of "off-the-bench" ideas so you can stay on track for your challenge!

There are a lot of ways that you can practice your music away from an instrument, we've listed a few here for you. Be sure to record what you try in your practice journal so we can see it too! (Many of these ideas were borrowed from the Colorful Keys blog, a great resource for piano teachers.)
  1. Do a few extra pages of theory, either from your book or worksheets from your teacher.
  2. Listen to your pieces on Youtube or a CD while reading along on your sheet or playing 'air piano.'
  3. Work on sight reading with:
    • Flashcards
  4. Play a music theory game! (ask your teacher to borrow one ahead of time if you know you will be away). 
  5. Hand someone your circle of 5ths, and have them test your knowledge of key signatures, and the order of sharps and flats. 
  6. Sing the treble clef part of one song, then sing the bass. 
  7. For beginners, draw a piano keyboard with the right pattern of 2 & 3 black keys. Then point to the keys you've drawn and say the musical alphabet forwards and backwards. Then try to do it faster.
  8. Practice rhythm by playing:
    • Tap, Clap or Jump on one foot to the rhythm of the treble clef part of a song, and then do the same for the bass. 
    • Lap Tap the rhythm of your song with both hands at the same time.
  9. Write down every dynamic & tempo mark you know & what they mean, without looking in your book. 
  10. Read a book about music history or music theory. (Click here for our blog post with some recommendations!)
  11. Learn about a famous composer
  12. Research one of the music time periods. (Baroque, Classical, Romantic)
  13. Work on your audio recognition of different instruments or classics by renowned composers with the Young Music Genius App.
  14. Compose your own piece on a piece of staff paper, or on Noteflight.
  15. Watch an adorable music theory tutorial on Pianoanne's Youtube channel. Be ready to tell your teacher what you learned!
  16. Create your own music theory tutorial, pick a music theory topic and video yourself explaining it. Send it to your teacher!
So, as you see, there are lots of ways for you to practice your music away from the piano. If you try any of these, or think up your own, let us know!