It’s all about planning
No, I’m not saying you have to start practice sessions with the last measure of your piece (that’s a thought for a different post). What I’m talking about is planning your long-term, and short-term, goals before starting a practice routine. Goal-oriented practice, or backward-designed practice, keeps effort focused and on track and makes it easier to recognize progress and growth. I also think it makes practice more exciting because each day is part of a bigger picture!
Efficient practice is key
Think of it like a road trip. If you want to visit the Grand Canyon from the east coast you need to answer questions and create a plan! Which route is most efficient? What needs to be packed? Where can you eat along the way? Are there other things you want to stop and see along the way? If you consider all of these things beforehand you’ll probably have a much better trip and, most importantly, arrive at your destination!
Your teacher is your tour guide!
Likewise, if you want to perform in a school talent show, sign up for a coffeehouse open mic night, or just master a new skill you need to answer questions and create a plan! This is a great conversation to have with your instructor. Together, you can set challenging, yet attainable, goals and then design a practice routine geared toward achieving them!
Check out some of Mark’s other posts-
Courtesy of Mark K. –
Mark is an instructor and performer in the Washington D.C metro area with experience in many diverse styles including jazz, classical and pop music. As a graduate from Shenandoah Conservatory, he studied music pedagogy, theory, history and technology. Also ask Mark about his unique experiences performing in the Sahara desert – it will be sure to inspire and give insight into the passion he brings to every lesson.
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