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Music Education

Advice On How To Get The Most Out Of Your Practice Time

Ever  Wonder How To Get The Most Out Of The Time You Spend Practicing Your Instrument?

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

The unspoken ingredient to excellence in any instrument is to repeatedly perform certain exercises and techniques intended to improve your playing. Aristotle tells you we need to do something repeatedly but it fails to tell you what that is. That is where your music instructor plays a key role. Based on your level of experience and specific needs, your instructor can design a series of lessons and exercises that when practice often and according to the instructions will without a doubt bring your playing ability to a whole new level.

Here are your steps to success:
1. Set specific goals
Jot down on a piece of paper 6-8 areas you feel you need improvement such as fingering, scales, improvisation, etc. Discuss them with your instructor.

2. Make a plan to practicing those skills
Now that you have identified the areas that need work, device a time to dedicate enough effort to each area. Think not in amounts of time, but rather percentages of total time. A good approach may be something like 25% speed drills, 25% finger-picking, and 50% improvisation.

3. Commit to your plan of action
One think I can guarantee is that if you dedicate time and effort to practicing, the improvements will be noticeable. Sometimes, however, it may be difficult for you to notice any changes. Video tape yourself practicing every other week and then compare your playing. This will help you see how your technique, sound, speed and overall playing is improving.

Tips for practicing your instrument and achieving success.In conclusion, be realistic so that your level of commitment is attainable. As you progress, consult with your instructor to adjust the goals and/or exercises and keep check of how you are doing and how efficiently you are spending your time.

The more you master your plan of action, the sooner you will reach a new level in your playing. The benefits of your hard work will show in your own playing.