Get the Most out of Practice Sessions
A lock-step sequence of action
Good practicing starts with good planning. Whether you are squeezing five minutes of practice into a busy day, or setting aside an entire afternoon, guidelines can help in sorting through the thousands of details that music study and instrument playing entail. There will certainly be adventures in the course of the work: surprises to deal with, experiments to try, problems to solve. But you can be prepared for them if you have a plan to help mobilize your attention and focus your concentration.
When I speak of a plan, I do not mean a lock-step sequence of action. Instead of presetting rigid lines of action, seek out the natural patterns that can inform your endeavors. For example, when performing music think ahead, play in the present, and listen behind. The same goes for practice–though on a different time scale: plan the future, work toward it now, and then look over what’s been accomplished.
This article, "Get the Most out of Practice Sessions," is part of the Strings Archive, which you can access with a paid site subscription.
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