I’ve challenged my students to practice piano everyday over Christmas break with our #28daysofpianopractice incentive.

I know a lot of students really need the break, and honestly, the holidays are kind a distracting time of year. With this in mind, I’ve told my students that it’s ok if their practicing over Christmas break doesn’t necessarily look the same as their practicing during the rest of the school year.

I’ve given them a few ideas at their lessons of different things they could do to keep up their piano chops, but here is a list of 30 (plus 1!) ideas of things they can be doing both at the piano and away from the piano. Just in case anyone starts to get bored over the break!

At the piano:

  1. Perform Christmas songs and your other favorite songs for family and friends visiting over the holidays.
  2. Look ahead in your method book and try the next song or 2.
  3. Review your favorite old songs.
  4. Review old songs that you don’t like. You’ll probably start to like them the more you play them! 🙂
  5. Memorize a song you really like.
  6. Try to play a tune by ear.
  7. Add chords to the a tune you can play by ear.
  8. Teach a family member how to play a song.
  9. Make a video of you playing for YouTube. Make a perfect, just like a performance.
  10. Go through all the piano books at your house and sight read from them.
  11. Search for sheet music online. (sheetmusicplus.com is one of my favorite places to look for music. You can specify that you want to search for instant downloads.)
  12. Search YouTube for piano tutorials. Type in the name of a song you want to learn and “piano tutorial”.
  13. Visit the local music store and browse for music that looks interesting to you. If you take a copy of a song you can play, the employees can help you find music at your level.
  14. Compose a song.
  15. Learn a new song using flowkey. (Read here about how to get started.)
  16. Play as many scales as you can.
  17. Invite a friend over that can play the piano or another instrument. See if you can play something together.

Away from piano:

  1. Play Piano Maestro on an ipad. (If your teacher has an account, ask for a link and you won’t have to pay to download it!)
  2. Play Rhythm Cat.
  3. Play NoteRush. (Or, find other music apps!)
  4. Play games on tonictutor.com.
  5. Download a keyboard app and practice scales or simple parts of your songs. It doesn’t replace practicing on a piano, but it will do in a pinch!
  6. Tap or clap the rhythm of a song you are working on.
  7. Talk through a song. Do you remember what note it starts on? What key is it in? Is there a pattern to the different sections of music? Can you hum the whole song?
  8. Airplay a song you already know. Can you visualize where your hands go on the piano for the whole song?
  9. Search YouTube for music that inspires you. Discover a pianist that you didn’t know about. Find music that you’d like to play someday.
  10. Search YouTube for songs that you already know how to play. Search the name of the song + the composer. Compare how other students play it compared to how you play it.
  11. Research a composer and listen to music by that composer.
  12. Listen to the CD that came with your book.
  13. Go to a live music performance.


Practice on a Piano Practice Pad! Take it on a trip, play with it from your couch, play games on it. You can buy them from the Pianissimo Store.

I hope these ideas help to fill your holidays with music, joy, and inspiration! Happy practicing!




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