This Ebook is a blend of practice concepts and specific exercises meant to guide and inspire the pianist. The book contains over 120 pages of ideas that can be used to grow structure, skill and creativity in piano practice.
The suggested outline for this resource is to have a teacher regularly assign a chapter or topic. The student is encouraged to write a paragraph or take notes on their progress and share this with their teacher. Chapters can be assigned more than once in different contexts as many students find this as an engaging and productive way to practice. Many students also work with this resource independently and self-assign chapters to suit their current musical studies.
Each teacher and student is responsible for purchasing their own copy for individual use.
For more information and discussion on Practicing With Creative Discipline, please visit the Explore Piano blog.
Available for Apple (iBook) and Android (Kindle)
Students of the piano often struggle with making their practice sessions truly productive. Dan Wardrope’s ideas give inspiration to take small but powerful steps that can transform and optimize practice minutes into a rewarding creative exercise. These exercises help a student rise above rote playing to cultivating important skills of listening, self-evaluation and goal setting.
Likewise, as teachers we are often searching for the illustration or activity that will motivate a student to take ownership of their progress. The success that comes when their competence of a piece transcends the technical obstacles and expands to include their feelings and creativity is a powerful motivation for your students to enjoy their musical pursuits.
Consider this book like a toolbox of practice ideas that range from physical exercises (chapter 14: Tonal Experimentation) to ideas that encourage the creative process that should take place before the instrument is even played (chapter 19: Think Ten Times and Play Once). I appreciated the concise applications for phrasing, technique, memory, dynamics with a particular strength in developing the tools needed for a successful piano performance.
I recommend this book as a valuable resource and encouragement for both teacher and student.
- Kathy Bartel
Member of the B.C.R.M.T.A.
Bachelor of Arts
This book has helped me improve the quality of my practice in technique and in discipline. Completing exercises in this book has increased my confidence during performance as well as my enjoyment of music. Not only does it teach you how to improve in discipline and musicality, but it explains to you how it helps you develop a stronger musical foundation. I would recommend this book because it has easy to follow exercises that will help you benefit more from your practice.
-Samuel, age 11
Practicing with Creative Discipline is a useful handbook that should be in the library of all early intermediate to advanced pianists and their teachers. The premise of the book is that a deliberate and creative approach to practicing will result in more meaningful, inspired, and enjoyable hours at the instrument and produce greater effectiveness. Covering a broad range of topics including repertoire, technique, sight reading, ear training, and performance, students can use this resource throughout their journey as musicians.
Each chapter is accompanied by a helpful assignment intended to encourage students to apply the concepts to their own practicing and performing. The assignments promote the role of the teacher in the student’s development by recommending that new concepts be discussed with or demonstrated to the teacher. As stated in the foreword, it is not meant to replace the teacher, but rather can be utilized by the teacher to address topics that are specific to the needs of each student. The pedagogically sound advice these pages contain, combined with the creative and artistic approach they promote, will benefit all readers and help those who apply the concepts therein to experience greater mastery of the instrument and engage in more profound and meaningful music-making. Having read and benefited from this book personally in my own musical journey, I can highly recommend it to students and colleagues alike!
- Tabea Hall
Member of the B.C.R.M.T.A.
Recipient of the RCM National Gold Medal Award for A.R.C.T. Intermediate Pedagogy
Practicing with Creative Discipline has helped improve my technical and musical skills a lot since I got it. There are many helpful chapters and exercises that shift normal practicing into a different perspective, and allow for greater details to emerge while practicing and performing a piece. Some of the exercises, like writing a paragraph summary, helped me understand what I would do to improve, while also letting me know what strategies work for me. I would recommend it to anyone playing a musical instrument no matter if they were at a beginner or advanced level.
-Alyssa, age 17