Practice is something that unites all musicians. From beginning players just learning their fingering to seasoned musicians performing for sold out audiences, they each need to practice. Not all practice is created equal, however, and as you grow as a musician you learn that even practice takes practice! We’ve put together five great resources that will help you make sure your practice sessions are as useful and productive as they can possibly be.
THE SCIENCE OF PRACTICE
This TEDEd video looks at practice from a scientific perspective and goes over proven methods for making your practice as effective as possible. “Mastery isn’t simply about the amount of hours of practice, it’s also the quality and effectiveness of that practice.”
REPETITION WITHOUT BOREDOM
Writer Penelope Trunk wrote about how her 11-year-old son prepared to audition for Juilliard, the process and methods his teacher helped him develop to stay engaged as he practiced 3 hours a day for six months on the same piece.
HOW THE PROS PRACTICE
Violinist Hilary Hahn’s instrument case has its very own Instagram account, @violincase, that features videos of the musician’s daily practice sessions. The clips are an intimate view of the everyday work it takes to grow as a musician, even an accomplished one.
From NPR, this list of practice tips includes some that you may not have seen before. Our favorite is to add a physical challenge next time you’re practicing, something like standing on one foot or walking while playing. The challenge can actually help your brain carve out new pathways for music-making so that when you go back to playing normally, the task may actually be easier.
PRACTICE ADVICE FROM ITZHAK PERLMAN
From the renowned violinist, “If something sounds great on Monday and it does not sound so good on Tuesday, don’t give up. It means that it’s not yet there. Keep practicing slowly, again and again. And by Wednesday it’ll be slightly better, and by Thursday it’ll be even better, but patience is very, very important.”