We all know that practice makes perfect. With regular exercise of a certain skill, being proficient in the activity is inevitable. How often should we practice in order to improve? How does one become truly proficient? Here is a list of ways on how to practice music better:
PRACTICE SMARTER, NOT LONGER
“Practice with your fingers and you need all day. Practice with your mind and you will do as much in 1 1/2 hours.” – Leopold Auer
Practicing too much is as bad as practicing too little. A music student should be aware of what specific objective to focus on in a short amount of time. Make the most of your hours. If you are having trouble with a particular technique, piece, or other concern, work on it as much as you can but if that’s taking too much of your time, it’ll be wiser to drop it and return to it the following day.
DON’T ALWAYS START AT THE BEGINNING
We may find ourselves playing the start of the score beautifully but then we see our performance drop more and more as we reach the end. We should maximize our time and willpower in practicing the whole piece or focusing on parts that need improvement.
Scientific researchers say that when you tackle a problematic element, adding a physical challenge to the difficult task such as balancing on one leg or hopping in place, can result in your brain is carving out neural pathways — making the original task easier to execute by just doing it without the challenge.
PRACTICE WITHOUT YOUR INSTRUMENT
Visualize it. Listen to the music while you move your fingers and touch the air. Bring your sheet music with you and read through it silently while visualizing how you’ll act it out.