Effective practice

Get the Most out of your Music Lessons

All instruments come with their own inherent difficulties. Beginning music students often have difficulty with intonation on the violin or cello, stretching out the fingers for leaps on the piano or fretting the notes on the guitar. What doesn’t change, regardless of the instrument you choose for your music lessons is the approach you should take towards practice. 

With student recitals approaching at the end of the month, here are some great tips on how to make your practice as effective as possible:

Slow Practice

Make sure you play through your pieces at a very slow tempo. When you work in this way, it is easy to play without tension in your hands or arms and gives you time to visualize the movements and music. It also reveals when and where you may be relying too heavily on muscle memory. 

If you learn something slowly, you forget it slowly.
— Itzhak Perlman

Repetition 

Our brains are wired to learn through repetition. It is very helpful to break pieces down into smaller sections or passages and practice these a few times. Make sure you do this slowly and with a clear mind! For younger students, playing a game or rolling a die really helps them do repetitions without losing theory focus. Older students can switch up the sections they are practicing and cycle back through them multiple times. 

Isolation

Spot practice: as mentioned above, all instruments have their own inherent difficulties but pieces do too! Make sure you spend extra time with the parts of the piece that cause you the most difficulty!