“Leaving your troubles behind, enter the exquisite realm of music making.”
–The Musician’s Way, p. 6
The beginnings of practice sessions set in motion everything that follows.
When we start with clear intentions, we accomplish more in the shortest time.
Here are four ideas for launching every practice session with optimal focus.
4 Ways to Begin Practice with Clear Intentions
1. Specify Goals in the 5 Practice Zones
Pinpoint objectives for repertoire in your New, Developing, and Performance Material Zones. Also identify aims in the Technique and Musicianship Zones. See “The Power of Specific Goals” and Chapter 1 of The Musician’s Way for more about my concept of 5 practice zones.
Many music students organize their materials into 5 zones with the aid of the Practice Sheet described in Chap. 1 of The Musician’s Way. A blank downloadable sheet is also freely available via the downloads page at MusiciansWay.com.
2. Warm Up Wholeheartedly
First, center yourself and then spend 10-15 minutes deliberately warming up, bringing all of your mental, physical, and musical faculties into alignment.
In “The Total Warm-Up,” I spell out a 6-part framework to structure our warm-up routines.
3. Tackle Small Tasks
From the first minutes that you practice, pick small enough goals so that you instill feelings of accomplishment.
4. Honor the Creative Process
Embrace any challenges as portals to growth rather than frustration, recognizing that creativity involves confronting rather than avoiding limitations.
Most of all, adopt an attitude of love for music – infuse every musical gesture will spirit.
The Musician’s Way articulates inclusive practice guidelines for musicians of diverse interests and abilities.
© 2014 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © Daviles, licensed from Shutterstock.com