Slow practice makes for fast play. I see it in my student’s eyes, their desire to play faster so that their fingers effortlessly glide over the keys. The answer is: Schedule a daily regular practice time that provides enough time to thoroughly and calmly practice. Students who set aside 30 to 45 minutes daily will achieve their desires as they slowly and accurately play through each small section five consecutive times.
Sometimes, we want to race through our work to produce the final product. Recently, I refinished our front door. The sealer was completely worn off from years of weathering and soon the wood will warp and crack. Venturing into unknown territory, I watched a few Youtube videos about 5 times each. Gleaned wisdom from the pros and then found my way through the project. Took me seven days! Toward the end, I was in a rush to finish and well …. the first coat of sealer went on a little too thick. I had to slow down, re-sand, do some patch up, and then finish. The final product came out less than I desired.
Just because one part of a song is easy to play fast, does not mean the rest of the song will be easy. Slowly revisit small problem areas. Develop even playing skills, use a metronome, and count out loud. I like to use “Pro Metronome” , a free cell phone app. Daily, play the section faster one tempo at a time. Write that speed down so you have a reference point for your next practice. Use your cell phone to record your session and review it to locate problem areas. Like having only one wrinkle in a shirt. Do not waste your time ironing the entire shirt. Focus on the wrinkle.
Whatever you focus on improving will become your strength. Places where you make a repetitive mistake will tie up your thought process. Such negative “self-talk” happens about 8 counts prior to the tricky section with thoughts such as: “I hope I get it right this time.” or “Here we go again.” or “How did I do that last time?” Students who apply slow calm practice will develop confident thoughts like this: “Ok, I’ve got this.” or “This is such a great melody.” or “Wow, that was fun.” Rushed review (due to completing activities) may discourage one’s desire to practice again.
Make time to take time for music learning (or any type of activity). Prioritizing your study tells you and others that your time is important. Beginners allow yourself 30 uninterrupted minutes about 4 days a week. Set up your boundaries, learn to say “no” to other distractions/opportunities and you will have a safe haven for learning. For all you coffee drinkers out there, it’s like that first cup in the early morning when it’s quiet and everyone knows (including the dog) not to bother you until you have had your first cup, alone.
Studio 237 Music Lessons is in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. Our staff of teachers are excited to teach you: voice, guitar, ukulele, violin, piano, cello, drums, saxophone, clarinet and more…Read our talented teacher’s bios, visit our website at www.Studio237Music.com and/or call the Studio 850.231.3199.
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