young woman playing flute“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”
–Jonathan Swift
The Musician’s Way, p. 310

We all know that musical excellence results from smart, steady practice over a span of years.

Still, it isn’t always easy for us to practice deliberately day after day.

The following 6 strategies help us stay on track and proceed step by step to achieving boundless artistic growth.

Six Practice Strategies for Boundless Artistic Growth

1. Clarify Short & Long-Term Goals

When we connect our small daily goals to our deepest lifelong ones, even basic exercises crackle with meaning.

If you’d like to reinvigorate your practice, one strategy I recommend is to document your artistic vision, which distills long-term goals, and then use the free practice sheet at to organize your aims for the coming week.

2. Commit to a Schedule

Along with specifying aims, it’s crucial that we map out daily times to practice and then unfailingly show up and work, regardless of our mood.
The Musician's Way book cover

3. Focus on Process

Goals and schedules amount to little if we don’t work intelligently. So, as you practice, reinforce habits of excellence and solve problems as they arise.

4. Seek Feedback

Even when we’re doing our best, we sometimes overlook faults. Be sure to record yourself regularly and periodically consult seasoned artists to help you transcend limitations.

Recommended Recorders: Audio: Zoom H4n | Video: Zoom Q4n 

5. Be Objective & Detached

Whether we’re evaluating ourselves or listening to feedback from others, we should treat critiques as neutral information instead of tinging them with any emotional charge.

6. Embody Positivity

Along with adopting smart practice strategies, we also need to nurture positive emotions, especially when we collaborate. Then, our practice fuels both our music and our wellbeing.

Read more about effective practice, performance and creative habits in The Musician’s Way.

Related posts
The Abundance Mentality
The Big Bag of Experience
Glorious Details
The Meaning in Mistakes
Solving Problems in Practice

© 2016 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © M. Ascough, licensed from Shutterstock