Guest post by Julian Harnish A smile played on my lips as I finished the last page of the last piece of my college senior recital - L’isle Joyeuse by Debussy. I was experiencing joy, and yes, part of that had to do with the state of flow that I find in performance. Yet, there… Continue reading 4 Tips for Achieving Joy-filled Practice
Like sportspeople, musicians need to train. We call training "practicing" - a catch-all term that encompasses learning new music, reviving previously-learnt music, keeping repertoire going and honing skills. We all have strengths and weaknesses, whether a professional or amateur musician, and understanding and appreciating our individual strengths and weaknesses is important in how we approach… Continue reading Train your weaknesses
On the most basic level, we practice to get better, to become proficient, to ensure we never play a wrong note. However, productive practising should never just be mindless “note bashing”. As pianist and renowned teacher Seymour Bernstein says in his excellent book ‘With Your Own Two Hands’, “productive practising puts you in touch with… Continue reading The Three H’s of Practicing
Play always as if in the presence of a master - Robert Schumann The ability to self-critique, evaluate and reflect on one’s playing during practising and in lessons is a crucial skill for musicians, and is a component of the skillset of “deliberate practise” and self-regulation, which enables us to practise productively and deeply. Around… Continue reading Encouraging evaluation, reflection and self-critique in practising
2 hours? 4 hours? 8 hours? 12 hours? How much is enough? Is there such a thing as practicing too much? Is there an optimal number of hours that one should practice? Here's an excellent article from The Bulletproof Musician blog, which dispels some myths about practising and offers practical guidance on 'deliberate' practice. Read… Continue reading How many hours a day should you practice?