Great article on practice habits

This is a great article about what attributes a great musician has when they practice from The Musician’s Way Blog.

What I love about this article is the lists of “deep learner” attributes vs. the “shallow learner” attributes.  Mr. Klickstien nails it on the head for me, and explains it better than I ever could.  But I was thinking that it might be beneficial to abbreviate each list so that they can be posted on a music stand while a student practices (as it is right now, its a bit too wordy for that purpose).  Maybe something like a “practice do’s and don’t’s” list:

This is what I came up with:

  • Set goals
  • Isolate problems
  • Be aware
  • Pay attention to repetition
  • Listen to yourself
  • Strive for consistent excellence
  • Relax and channel anxiety in a positive way
  • Practice without a purpose
  • “Play” through music
  • Get distracted
  • Repeat sections ad nauseum
  • Listen inconsistently or poorly
  • Let things slide
  • Let performance give you negative anxiety
I know I have been a culprit of one or two things on the “don’t” list recently, and the last one is especially hard.  If you read my last post, I wish I had this list when I was in my undergrad program.  Looking back, I was hitting more of the “don’ts” than I was the “dos”!  But I honestly didn’t know any better.  Makes me sad, because I feel like I lost a lot back then because I didn’t have the proper guidance.  This is why I try to instill good practice habits in my younger students.  They may hate it now, but I know they will thank me for it later in life!

In other news…exactly 9 weeks from yesterday until I leave!  Its getting so close that now I’m having some anxiety about it.  I get the butterflies in my stomach every time I think about it.  Can’t tell if its excitement or nervousness…or both.  Probably both.  I can’t believe its almost here!

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