Are you applying this practice technique to quickly improve your skill and abilities.
Improving practice focus speeds the music learning process along.
Wouldn’t you like to know how five minutes of practice can be more valuable than one hour of rote repetition practice.
Did you ever notice how all your friends or parents seem to have advise on how to fix your music practice. Believe me I know I do it to my daughter all the time.
Although they may sort of know, none of them really know what you are struggling with at the moment. The fact is they do have their experience and overcome a some similar problem.
Teachers and Practice Advise
Where are our teachers in that last consideration? We usually respect their advise more than others as it should be, they usually try to give us an effective music practice framework.
They work to program our learning experience on how and what things should be practiced.
However,I do believe that not enough attention is placed on the how. I’m challenging a vast majority of practice directions today.
I don’t believe that all teachers, and especially all our friends, know what is good practice technique. Giving out advice on this method or that book is fine, but it doesn’t teach you how to practice.
Here is this exercise, please practice it 10 times in a row. I want to scream when I hear that. Rote practicing, in my mind, is the surest method to mediocrity and boredom.
Standard Practice – Repetition
It has been my experience that practicing by repeating for the sake of repeating simple creates a long time to get any better let alone master a musical element and is not effective music practice.
Now don’t get me wrong, you do have to repeat exercises and songs, but it has to be done differently. You need a new mind set and practice method. I have experienced and believe there is a quicker, faster and just overall better way.
Effective Practice – Focus
Specific focus is the key to effective practice. The act of focusing your attention to very specific technique, analysis, motion, or phrasing will do more for improving your skills than anything else.
This means you will take and repeat a given musical item and focus on making it better with each attempt. As you become better you add to your view. It can be used with the method of adding on to quickly gain improvement.
How Does It Work
Try a set of notes or a phrase, focus to improve sounds quality the next time you play it or accent it differently. You’re not just running through it 10 times; you’re engaged with how it sounds different every time you play it.
This concept of expressing it slightly different this next time through is a great way to focus and a difficult phrase. Focus within your minds eye on how it should sound, then work with each attempt to make it sound that way through your physical movements or breath.
Work on specific techniques with exercises. Accent scales on 1 beats only, then change to 1 and 3 beat. Grouping arpeggios in threes to accent on the beat then change to accent in fours giving you new notes to accent on..
Work with rhythm as we do in the getting it down cold workbooks approaching the patterns in different ways or with different hand combinations.
Take this idea and see if you can change your practice today. What would it take to improve your attention to detail and accelerate your learning. This simple effective music practice concept can and will change your playing skills.