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Myth No. 7: Always Practice With The Metronome!

A shallow approach to music has resulted in the saturated use of this tool, causing metronome addiction and mechanical playing.

Watch previous Myths again

Did you enjoy our myth series? ;D Which episode was the most helpful for you? What myths have sabotaged your practice the most in the past? Please share your experience by leaving a comment under Myth No. 1!

Video highlights:

00:02. Myth No. 7: Always Practice With The Metronome!
00:20. How I got acquainted with this myth.
01:00. An important disambiguation: classical pieces vs modern songs.

. Myth Origin: the rhythmical/tempo problems that make students reach for the metronome.
02:11. So what’s wrong with this practice method? The symptomatic approach. Any problem has a cause!
02:35. The real root of this myth: a shallow approach to music.

03:45. Myth Dangers. A ‘mathematical’ approach to music and a static, ‘stomping’ playing style.

. Reality.
06:02. Why do rhythmical problems appear in the first place? Maybe there is a way to prevent them?
06:13. An example of metronome-dependent mechanical practice.
08:37. Examples of pieces of different genres played mechanically with the metronome.
09:43. Why does this happen? The most common rhythmical issues – and their causes.
12:20. Things always fall apart without mental/aural guidance and a ‘big picture’ understanding of the piece! The parable of the 5 blind men and the elephant.
14:06. Technical limitations – another big cause of rhythmical problems.
15:16. Anxiety, the ‘flight or fight’ response and their negative impact on our rhythm/tempo. The solution.

. Understanding Pulsation.
17:08. Examples of different types of pulsation.
20:24. In classical music, pulsation is not rigid or too obvious!
21:03. Musical pulsation is not perfectly even – but it cannot be chaotic either. ‘Heartbeat’ and dramaturgy.
22:14. Example: working on Tchaikovsky’s October (from The Seasons op. 37a).
24:31. Rhythm is an organic part of music as a whole – and cannot be separated from its other elements.

. Solutions. Developing our inner sense of rhythm. Mental practice.
26:08. Imagining that you’re a conductor. The basic conducting movements. Pulsation in conducting.

. Metronome Tips and Dosage. The 3 situations where the metronome can be very useful.
28:33. The metronome is mainly a testing tool!
28:55. What to do if the rhythmical problem is persistent. Practicing Tchaikovsky’s Morning Prayer (from Children’s Album op. 39).
31:24. How to ‘dose’ the metronome medicine according to style, genre and purpose.
33:33. Prof. Nessy comes for a visit – to teach us all about relaxation! ;D
34:37. Set the metronome according to pulsation (not the beat).

. Dessert time! Quickly debunking 6 other common myths.
38:32. Conclusion.

This is why we do what we do

‘PCA is unique – it provides 24/7 access to Conservatory-grade piano teaching’

I initially joined PianoCareerAcademy as an “advanced” pianist with 28 years of playing under my belt, being mainly interested in specific instructions on some advanced pieces I was learning at the time.


Within days of roaming the vast database of tutorials, my whole perspective began to change. It was changed by the clear underlying message present in practically every tutorial: in order to develop great piano technique and a thorough understanding of the art of piano playing, a holistic approach is needed, training all aspects of this art harmoniously in a step-by-step manner.


Eventually I surrendered and humbly started at the very beginning, with the first lesson of the Course for Beginners. Within a year of following the established curriculum, my playing has been transformed – more stability and security, more confidence and freedom of expression, and most importantly, much more clarity of intention on what I want to express through my playing in the first place.


Along with that, my way to practice has changed significantly, becoming much more focused, productive and thus enjoyable.


PCA is unique in that it provides 24/7 access to conservatory-grade piano teaching, according to the professional principles of the Russian Piano School. But beyond that, Ilinca Vartic also provides ample information on how to build a healthy lifestyle to support the lifelong learning. There is advice on health topics, injury prevention, mental aspects, performance psychology, even on workouts and fitness, and the list could go on and on.


Sustained by an outstandingly friendly and supportive community, I believe PCA offers everything we could possibly need to guide us on our piano journey, to help us bring out the music in our playing and realize our full potential as artists, from beginners to professionals.


Subscribing to PCA has not only enriched my playing, but my life as well, and I am deeply grateful for the ongoing experience!


Holger Stief – Germany. Pianist & Composer

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