Music Success Sheets


in Music Technique

I sat down to play the piano this weekend and realized that I haven't really played anything of significance in the last 3 months. My hands felt like they were iron claws with no ability to move to the desired notes or chords which I wanted to play.

Yes, my travel schedule and primary work needs have taken me away from my favorite pastime of playing and learning music. Now I've decided to get back at it.

First – My Music Session Debacle 

I sit down pull out a few easy songs and start playing, Oh my! My hands and back and shoulders have all failed me. It's as if I have had a complete atrophy of all muscles.

I'm struggling with just the simplest of passages and the technically more difficult or completely evading me.

After about an hour of musical torture things loosen up and I feel a little better.

Second Thoughts

My next step was to ask myself, “So what are you going to do to get those fingers back into dexterity heaven and feel good about playing again?”

Obviously the first thought was well maybe you should spend more time at the piano. Yeah, that's obvious!

So I'm going to spend more time, what about a plan of action to make more sense out of the time I do have. GREAT IDEA, MAN!

Implementation, however, is not always as easy as saying I make a plan and do it. So today I've decided to bring back my music success sheets.

Third Actions

Recalling that my greatest success in learning music was the success sheets that my mentor, Donna Cercone (MegaLearning), had me use to practice and learn in the beginning stages, I have decided to pull out that old trusted friend and regain my technical skills and flexibility.

The Music Success sheet is a concept that is easy to create and use. They can come in various presentations, but one of the easiest is the block pattern of a spreadsheet. You can create a big box pattern as well, for ease of use.

The Success Sheet

The following is one I pulled out to start my new year to get my groove back into my technique.


As you can see I've simply listed various practice items like playing broken chord patterns, scales, Czerny and Hanon books, and songs I want to improve.

The use of the sheet is to sit down have this at your instrument and pick the next square as your practice item. In this way you can immediately have something to focus on and rotate through the various music skill improvement sets.

The next step may be to take it deeper and make a sheet for each item and add metronome speeds. Here's one I used for practicing arpeggios in groups of three and four. That is, I would accent the the first note of each group of notes in these patterns. This is great for creating flexibility in playing


In general this sheet may get completed by going down a column or across at the same time.

I've used these sheets successfully for years. When I need to get general skills elevated up I use the overall sheet. When I need to increase speed I use a more specific sheet.

This technique keeps me on track and on target.

Your Actions

Due to the fact that everyone is in a different place in their music voyage, you will need to make a success sheet that fits what you are working on or need practice to improve.

You can use a computer spreadsheet or just get a blank piece of paper and quickly sketch up a set of boxes and labels to make it work for you. Take some time to consider what will help you make improvement.

Ok, back to getting those fingers in shape!

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