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Classical Piano Lesson: Practicing with the F.E.R.N. Approach


Practice time is something that we as musicians all wish we had more of. Therefore, when we are able to sit down with our instrument, it’s important to maximize that time to get the most out of our practice. To help accomplish that, establishing an organized agenda that provides each rehearsal session with structure and intention is critical and can be extremely effective.


In this online classical piano lesson, master pianist, ArtistWorks instructor, and founder of the Peery Piano Method, Christie Peery walks us through a rehearsal regimen that she developed that will maximize your practice time, and ensure success when learning how to play a new piece of music for the first week. Christie dubbed this five-part practice method F.E.R.N., a four-letter acronym designed to help you remember each step of the exercise process. The acronym stands for:


1. Fingering

2. Expression

3. Rhythm

4. Notes


To employ Christie’s F.E.R.N. method, the piece that you’re learning needs to be practiced five times in a row. Upon each pass of the piece, Christie suggests focusing on one specific element of your performance. First, begin by focusing on executing the piece using accurate fingerings, then follow that by focusing on correct expression, then rhythm, and then notes. In the fifth and final performance of the piece, it should be your goal to execute all five elements of F.E.R.N. as precisely as possible.  


“F.E.R.N. is the way you should practice every time you learn a musical piece,” Christie explains. “A stellar performance isn’t expected at the beginning of the week, but, as the week goes on, you’ll see your progress and that you’re getting more parts of F.E.R.N. perfectly each time you practice.”


Watch the video below to dive deeper into Christie’s F.E.R.N. method, and learn more about her classical piano lessons here at ArtistWorks:



While Christie originally conceptualized this practice regimen with the classical piano in mind, its brilliance lies in the fact that it can be applied to essentially any instrument. Guitarists, Banjoists, Saxophonists, and Fiddle players alike can all approach learning a new piece using the F.E.R.N. technique. So, regardless of your instrument, players of all skill levels should incorporate Christie’s F.E.R.N. method into their practice routine. You will certainly hear the results and see your progress!



Have you always wanted to learn how to play classical piano? Through our comprehensive piano lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Christie Peery, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Christie’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner classical piano to advanced performance techniques and compositions. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as pianists and musicians.


Try out some free sample piano lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



ArtistWorks Music Series Podcast: Habits of Highly Effective Musicians with Christie Peery

Talking Piano with Christie Peery

Christie Peery Honor’s Her Mother’s Piano Legacy




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