I recently came across this article and I wanted to share with all my musician friends. I feel like this author nailed it right on the head. So many teachers nowadays focus on getting the student to practice in a quantitative way, instead of a qualitative way. Its fine if you practice six hours, but what was accomplished? That is the question we should be asking ourselves as musicians.
As I recall, back in 2006, right after I graduated from CSU, I was literally practicing 6 hours a day to prepare for my grad school auditions. But I might as well not have practiced at all. Looking back, “practicing” is not the correct word. I would say I “played” 6 hours a day. I had no comprehension of what the word “practice” meant, or how to even practice efficiently/correctly. I wish that this book/website had been in existence back then! It would have saved me a lot of trouble. I was so focused on how much I practiced, but not on how much I got done in that practice session. In essence, I was “mindlessly practicing” for 6 hours per day. And it showed in the end, out of 4 schools I auditioned for, I only was accepted at one. I cried at half of the auditions because I truly realized how underprepared I was! I’m pretty sure the only reason I got accepted at the school I did (DU) is because I had studied with the teacher in the past and she knew me. It was at DU that I learned how to practice well. And only since I’ve been out of school that I have truly discovered the meaning of efficient practice. Imagine what I could get done if I practiced 4 hours a day now, knowing what I know!!
This article links to another one that also piqued my interest. Performance anxiety is something that I have been fighting with for a long time. If you are familiar with my blog, you know that I tend to sabotage myself 90% of the time during auditions. I hate it, and its so frustrating because I can’t seem to shake off my anxiety. I really feel that it has kept me from winning auditions, or at least getting past the prelim round. In all my years, I’ve never thought of making those nervous feelings into something positive. I’ve always focused on making them go away, hence transforming those feelings into negative energy. I love the idea of centering, and transitioning thoughts from the left brain to the right brain. Makes so much sense!!
I have to credit howtopractice.com for the link to the first article (which obviously led to the other!). Check out the other links that are posted, they are very informative and interesting!
…30 days! Getting so close!