woman practicing piano“Nothing motivates better than success.”
The Musician’s Way,
p. 107

Do you typically finish practice sessions feeling that you’ve achieved meaningful goals?

If not, these tips can help you invigorate your practice with clarity and accomplishment.

See The Musician’s Way for more extensive practice guidelines.

5 Tips for Successful Music Practice

1. Tackle Attainable Goals
Use the likes of a practice sheet to map out goals in several practice zones, and then work on one task after another, racking up steady accomplishments. If most of what you practice feels difficult, set the arduous material aside, and choose accessible music.

2. Manage Repetition
Make each chunk of music short enough and your tempos slow enough that you can be secure with a passage in about 3 repetitions. Then, connect small chunks into larger phrases. Chapter 3 of The Musician’s Way offers guidelines to manage repetition and tempo in practice.

3. Interleave Practice Tasks
Instead of completing all of your goals in a single practice zone before proceeding to another one (blocked practice), experiment with moving back and forth between zones and tasks. So-called interleaved practice has been shown to boost learning.

4. Incorporate Active Breaks
To avoid overuse injuries, it’s crucial that we take breaks during practice – at least 5 minutes of rest after 25 minutes of practice. During breaks, if we aren’t mentally fatigued, we can use breaks to review what we’ve done and consider subsequent goals, thereby staying focused and making our breaks productive.

5. Conclude by Specifying Fresh Goals
Wrap up every practice session by preparing for the next one. Whether you write down goals or catalog them mentally, the goal-setting process primes us to be continually creative.

The Musician’s Way presents comprehensive practice and performance guidelines that musicians worldwide have embraced. Read reviews on Amazon.com.The Musician's Way book cover

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3-2-1 Goals. Practice Efficiently, Boost Motivation
Assessing Your Practice Habits
Performance-Oriented Practice
The Twin Aims of Deliberate Practice
Upgrading Your Practice Habits

© 2015 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © Dragon Images, licensed from Shutterstock.com

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