PRACTICE TIPS

Between school, family, friends and after-school activities, finding time to practice might not be easy. With a little planning, however, you will be surprised how possible and productive practicing can be. Keep in mind that you are not only developing good practice habits but you are also acquiring planning skills that you can apply to school work, interests and hobbies.

 
          
 
  • How much time am I able to set aside each day for lesson assignments?

  • Have I set a specific goal for today's session?

  • Am I practicing "smart," that is, spending more time working on weak areas than areas I am reasonably proficient in? Am I focusing on small, weaker sections rather than simply playing the piece all the way through?

  • Am I playing scales slowly enough to hear and evaluate each note?

  • Do I listen for intonation problems when I practice? After practicing, is my intonation more accurate?

  • Is my playing clear and articulate? Is each note speaking, ringing, and singing?

  • Have I decided on fingerings and bowings that make musical sense?

  • Do I follow the printed dynamics?

  • Do I understand all the rhythmic issues of the music, in particular, motives, rests and phrase structure as well as notation?

  • How is my posture? Am I holding my instrument correctly? 

 

Slow, steady practicing is essential to learning. Critical listening is essential to developing musicianship. What you can't hear, you can't fix, so be sure to practice slowly and steadily in order to hear everything you are playing.

 

Any time you do something over and over, habits are developed, so make sure what you repeat is indeed a "good habit." The reward of practicing is being able to do something at the end of the practice session that you couldn't do at the beginning.

 

 
 
 
 



 

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Questions To Ask Yourself Before And During Practice Sessions:

 

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