THE PRACTICE DILEMMA

The word practice is often an intimidating word.  When students hear this, they immediately think of it as a chore.  Others are intimidated by practicing because they never know what to practice.  Yet, others don’t practice because they never seem to have the time.  These are barriers that prevent students from reaching their fullest potential.  While talent exists, mere talent is not sufficient to advance.  This music talent must be nurtured with hard work, personal development, practice, and single-minded concentration.  These are the ingredients that will transform a musician’s skill level and ability.  Practicing should always be looked at as a means of advancement.  It is a process where happiness and motivation come as a result of seeing where you were, to where you are, to where you will be.  In this resource, we will discuss the different kinds of practices you can do.  While it is difficult to find time to get behind your instrument daily, these principles will help you get more done in less time.  They will increase your efficiency, effectiveness, and level of time of progression.

Intellectual Practice

Intellect is defined as the faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively.  Although music involves feeling, emotion, and a great deal of subjectivity (developing your own sound and style), it is also good to approach your instrument objectively.  What do I mean by this? Set yourself short-term and long-term goals.  Write them down and place them by your instrument so you can see them regularly.  Moreover, what will you do to reach those goals?  When will you reach those goals?  Setting measurable, clear, and attainable goals with a timeline to achieve them are imperative to advancement.  Bill Copeland said, “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”  This is exactly how it is apart from setting goals at your instrument.  You may improve your playing apart from goal-setting, but you won’t have a clear purpose of what you want to accomplish and vision of where you want to be.  Further, get in the habit of writing ideas down!  Carry a notepad/pen in your car or use your smartphone.  Some of our most creative ideas may come at times where we are not behind our instruments.  Musicians assume they will remember what the idea is and practice it when they are able to sit behind their instrument.  This rarely happens.  It has been said that we see up to 5,000 images a day!  We are bombarded with stuff, information, ads, and people desiring to get our attention.  Retain what you came up with by writing it down or storing it in your phone.  Lastly, this method will not only help you retain important information, but will also get you in the habit of transcribing what you heard or created.  Transcribing simply means to put an idea into written form.  You can write out the notation figures of what you heard and then know exactly how to play it on your instrument.  Although transcribing can be time consuming, it is a great way to develop your composition skills, and to play something exactly how you heard it.

 

Free Your Mind Daily!

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