There’s a reason why the saying “Practice Makes Perfect” is repeated so often. It’s true for many applications, but when it comes to the world of music, the better quote should be “Proper Practice Makes Perfect”. After all, once you practice your pieces incorrectly, you’ll be performing them wrong as well!
Whatever you’ll be doing on stage, make sure that you practice it as best as you can. This includes proper posture, which goes a long way in helping you create a great sound. If your aim is to learn notes or increase your range, don’t forget to practice scales. This also improves your technique and your articulations.
Find a room in your home that is far away from distractions and has good lighting. This room should be a safe place for you to practice without disturbing the other people who live with you as well.
There is a reason why it’s called a routine. You should set a consistent time that works for you and the people who live with you, and make sure to follow it daily. Practice at the same time and place and with the same way you’ve been practicing. Failing to follow a routine means you won’t make the same improvement if you committed to it. It’s also recommended to have short but frequent practice sessions rather than longer ones spaced far apart, because it helps with constant improvement and memorization.
As mentioned earlier, proper practice makes perfect. We’d like to add that practice makes permanent as well! Take note of all the details when you’re practicing because you might accidentally reinforce a negative habit. Mindful and conscious practice is necessary, so do your best not to tune out and repeat your piece on auto-pilot.
When practicing at home, try to watch yourself with a mirror and note areas of improvement. Another way to improve is by recording yourself and your performance so you can look into the habits that you’re subconsciously doing.
If possible, perform in front of a trusted audience. Perform your piece in your living room surrounded by your family or video call your best friend. Practicing in front of a live audience will help you fight nerves, become more comfortable and visualize how your actual performance will be like.