Practice! Practice! Practice!

This is my theme for 2016.

Why do we practice?

  1. To achieve the objective of playing better, accurately and skilfully. My Professor always told me that it was better to practice a bit everyday and even several times a day, than to practice for two hours once a week. The brain retains the memory of practice from shorter intervals of time than from long lapses of time. The result of long lapses of time make it as if you are starting over.
  2. It gives you self confidence. When you finally ace that tough passage, master that difficult fingering of a scale, it is an euphoria moment. One thing I must stress, you must practice a passage accurately more times than you practice it incorrectly. Many times I will have a student that wants to start at the beginning when they play a phrase inaccurate in the music. I direct them to start  at the place they made a mistake, perhaps a bar before. Otherwise they are only perfecting the bit they can play well, whilst neglecting the bit that needs help. One rule is: once that bit can be played five times accurately, it is considered perfected.
  3. It becomes a part of your memory. If you can internalise the music your inner ear will assist you when your aural skills test your kinaesthetic skills. If you can hum it and finger it away from your instrument you are on your way!

I highly recommend mental practice away from your instrument. Take a copy of your music with you, look at the notes, the rhythmic patterns, the difficult passages, and play them on your “air instrument”. Mark your practice, your fingering & breathing. Sing the melody in your head.

If you are a vocalists, put the track on your device and practice singing it. Memorise your lyrics, practice just singing the vowels or consonants.

Finding the tracks to match your repertoire will aid your aural awareness, especially when you are away from your instruments.

Remember, perfect practice makes perfect!

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2 thoughts on “Practice! Practice! Practice!

  1. Hi Bridget,
    I hope all is well in UK. I was just looking through your site and saw a post about your start on trumpet. Thank you for the compliment but it’s you that took your ability to heights I could never imagine.

    I don’t see enough tubas in your pictures. Do you need help recruiting for low brass? Just kidding. I’m surrounded by high brass players so I’m always looking for help.

    God blesss
    Doug Watson

    1. It’s funny how much I love the tuba. You were such an inspiration on the trumpet, thank you for being a great teacher.
      I wish you could help me recruit for low brass, but then I would have to buy one of each, and the tuba would be the most expensive!! 😊
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Cheerio!!
      God bless you!
      B.

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