Jessica Wyatt gives advice about practise that matches the advice given in the The Talent Code.
Like Coyle she says practise is about mindfulness.
- Play the piece through to get an overview of the technical and musical challenges presented by it
- Identify and isolate the difficult bars of the piece
- Play these bars on their own, slowly if necessary, become aware of the problems and work out solutions to these problems (e.g. bowings, shifts, fingerings)
- Once you have worked out the solutions to the problems, play the difficult bars until you are satisfied that they are improving (this may take a long time in the case of very difficult music!)
- Play the bars in context again, making sure that the join between the difficult bars and the others is practised thoroughly
- Play the piece through again, this time being aware of the difficult bars and (hopefully) their improvement
- Repeat the process regularly!
Viola Jigsaw Puzzle Click here to complete the jigsaw of the day. Jessica gives this advice because, as she says, there are no shortcuts to learning a musical instrument. By following these strategies you will find that “it is the quality, not the quantity, of practice that really matters!”
As an instrumental teacher, I’m often asked by parents how much they think their children should practise their instruments, or told proudly that they practise every day or even twice a day. In turn, I often ask my pupils how much they practise, which is most often met with a sheepish grin and a muttered ‘…um…’
We all know the old adage ‘practice makes perfect’, and as a professional musician myself, I know from experience that this is all too true. Behind every polished performance are hours and hours of dedicated rehearsal, practice, memorisation and close analysis of problems and their solutions. What not everyone knows, however, is how to practise so that the time spent practising is spent in the best possible way; in other words, how to achieve the most in the limited amount of time that is allotted to practising.
Many children, and adult learners for that…
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