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How to Practice

 

•Pick a quiet place to practice where you can focus.

•Pick a time of day to practice and develop a regular practice schedule/routine.

•Warm up to loosen the muscles you’ll be working.

•Posture - THINK - Play!

•Begin by working on the fundamentals such as scales, finger or bow exercises.

•Have specific goals.

•Practice SLOWLY.

•Practice what you can't play and zero in on the trickiest spots.

•Don't practice mistakes; fix them immediately.

•Identify what you are trying to improve!  Finger, hand, arm position?  Intonation?  Rhythm?  Vibrato? Tempo?  Memorization?  Posture?

•Campaign to SAY NO to mindless practicing! Your brain is your best teacher!

•Listen to yourself. (Know what you’re listening for--rhythm, pitch, articulation, tone, phrasing).

•Recall keywords used at your lesson by your teacher. (Learn to listen for those words at lesson to help you practice in the same way at home.)

•Ask yourself questions. How is this supposed to Feel? Sound? Look?

•Stop practicing when you are too tired to play, too frustrated to concentrate or can no longer focus.

•End on a positive note such as ending your practice session with review pieces or pieces that you can play well. 

•Practice often but not necessarily for a great amount of time! Several 20 minute sessions may accomplish more than 1 hour at a time.

•Good practice habits will result in more productive lessons and successful performances.