Awareness during your practice sessions will bring to light many insightful questions and answers about yourself.
Try to not play incorrectly at all.
A tall request you may think, but your time is valuable and not a commodity to be squandered, so you owe it to yourself to apply the speediest means to attain your goals. Above all during practice respect the power of your mind.
Practice in the realm of the mental rather than physical, for little is possible in terms of your performance at the piano without the mind being in the driving seat, as it were.
Mistakes are caused by an unprepared mind not by untrained fingers.
You are training your mind to play correctly not your fingers or hands.
Yes, they apply the finishing touches, but it is your mind that must visualise and fully grasp the tasks that are demanded of them.
Always allow the time to clearly understand with your mind what you are about to perform. Correct conceptualisation is the key to successfully performing tasks big or small.
Understand first, use the imagination to visualise the task in its correctness before any physical attempt.
Imagine two piles beside you.
One pile consisting of all the attempts that you made that were accomplished successfully. The other pile consists of all the bad attempts. Think about all the permutations of errors that are possible during one small passage of a piano piece. They are countless and could occur at any one repetition. Through correct visualisation you should be able to keep the “bad pile” very low. Remember that these piles are stored in the library of your mind and at any given repetition you can make a withdrawal from either pile. It would surely help considerably if the “bad pile” was always out of stock.
Another question that will arise is “At what point do I know that I’ve learned thoroughly enough?”
Well, I suppose any time spent in studying with the correct degree of awareness and application will produce positive results of some kind, but in terms of performance it is useful to have a yardstick to measure success with.
By performance here I mean any repetition of a practice object where your heart, mind and body are coordinated in the aim of success.
What can we use as a yardstick?
I think we should look at our ability to stand back and evaluate our performance in purely artistic terms, in a state of relaxed awareness, having transcended the technical challenges that we originally faced. When we can time and again give full rein to the emotional and rhythmic energies unleashed in a performance, still remaining in control, still able to evaluate and make choices in terms of landscape and balance, then you start to see the sort of yardstick I mean.
In order to achieve your very best, your full potential must be applied to your playing.