Image of young woman playing the cello“One must approach music with a serious rigor and, at the same time, with a great, affectionate joy.”
–Nadia Boulanger, composer, pianist, teacher
(The Musician’s Way, p. 292)

How we sound in performance is a direct result of how we practice.

So even though practice entails focused work, it’s crucial that we work joyfully, permeating each task with the spirit we’ll project from the stage.

The following 4 guidelines help us infuse practice with meaning and joy.

1. Set Attainable Goals
When we choose accessible repertoire, we practice enthusiastically because we know that our performances will soar.

By comparison, students who opt for the hardest music struggle in practice as well as on stage.

2. Learn Deeply
Deep practice fosters the security and expressiveness we need to be creative on stage.

Using the deep practice methods spelled out in The Musician’s Way, we become one with our music, and that oneness sparks vitality in every phrase we play.

Superficial practicers, though, embed soulless muscle memory that’s neither artistic nor secure.The Musician's Way book cover

“How we sound in performance is a direct result of how we practice.”

3. Build Performance Skills
Music is a social art form that resounds in the interaction between performer and listener.

Via practice performances, we establish the skills that ensure fail-safe, heartfelt concerts.

Then, our confidence, along with the gratification that comes from successful performances, fuels the satisfaction we derive from our practice.

4. Celebrate the Miracle of Music
Deliberate practice is hard work, but music itself is woven of spirit.

When we celebrate the spiritual nature of our art, we can imbue each note with joy, even as we tackle thorny problems.

As a result, our music making helps us and our listeners recognize that each moment of our existence is miraculous.

Related posts
Beautiful Repetition
Better than Patience
Increasing Tempo in Practice
The Power of a Practice Schedule
Upgrading Your Practice Habits

© 2014 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © Rob Hainer, licensed from

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