Sunday, February 7, 2010

Music Tip #25 Practice makes perfect?

We’ve all heard the saying, “practice makes perfect”. But does it? Does sloppy, incorrect practice make perfect? Of course not. So the saying really should be: Perfect Practice makes Perfect.

As a piano teacher I try to help my students understand this concept by giving them something to focus on while they are practicing. The focus can be different for each piece or the same. For example, the focus could be sitting tall with their back straight or curved fingers, or playing the f# every time, or listening for dynamics.

If you want to make your child’s practice session be valuable and worthwhile, then help your child focus on one thing while she plays her piece (the brain can only remember 1-2 things at a time). Then ask your child to evaluate her playing. Did she accomplish the goal? Most children tend to think of other things while practicing-- their minds wander. But if they have to judge whether they achieved their goal or not, they have something to think about while they are playing.

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