Practicing the Piano
"How long should I practice?" This is a question piano teachers are often asked. It is also a question I try not to answer, since I believe it is the wrong question. A better question would be, "How should I practice?"
When you begin practicing a new piano piece, the obvious place to begin is learning the notes. Many people, myself included, want to breeze through this task and move on to more interesting things, but if you are not diligent here you will ultimately spend longer learning your song.
In an earlier post, I indicated that memorizing a piece is not always necessary. Sometimes, however, it is required by a particular adjudication, contest, or competition; sometimes you choose to memorize in order to appear polished and professional (this is the point of view that I personally want to move away from); and sometimes, memorizing becomes necessary in order to really play the piece well.