Please find a link to my weekly practice page:
Good practice isn’t necessarily about how many hours you play for, or how many times you play through something each session. Good, effective practice is about practicing slowly, with attention to detail. Good practice isn’t cramming in 2 hours the day before a lesson, but it is doing a little practice each day to retain and build upon skills.
Here are my top tips for Effective Practice:
- Use the notes written in your practice book to help guide and aid your practice each week. They will tell you what you need to focus on and methods to improve.
- Try not to practice when you are hungry, angry or worried about other things you have to complete. This will not allow you to focus fully, and will not enable you to complete focused practice. If you need afternoon tea, to write a ‘to do’ list or to send some emails before you practice then make the time to do it before you start.
- Always start practice by playing through current scales, technical work and (if applicable) studies. This will center and focus your aural awareness and acts as a good warm up for fingers and intonation.
- Do ‘Pinpoint’ practice on difficult sections rather than playing through entire pieces at a time as this is incredibly inefficient, and often leads to mistakes being memorised.
- Using a metronome is a great way of ensuring correct rhythm from the very start of learning a piece, and it should be used frequently when practicing.
- Set yourself goals with time guides in each session, for example, in a 45 min practice I could aim to do 15 minutes of scales, 5 minutes bow exercises, 20 minutes on sections of 2 piece, and 5 minutes on sight reading practice.
- Keep a practice journal so you can see what you have worked on during the week to make sure everything is played on rotation and covered during the week. You can notate what went well, and what sections need more work, which is incredibly helpful for your teacher.