YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME
For listening inspiration
- not the exact version we are playing
PIA LIPTAK Studio violin, chamber music
Practice makes Perfect? Practice makes Permanent?
Pracitce makes perfect only if you practice well. If you, for example,
practice a wrong note many times, you get really good at it.
Because your muscles have a great power to remember what you teach them,
you will get very secure at something you repeat a lot, especially if you repeat it
the same way every time. So, drill smart: You think, your fingers remember!
Every day is best and it will give you the most lasting results. It will help you feel that you accomplish something faster and you will remember it better. It will help you learn new skills securely and maintain what you already know. If you don't feel like practicing, do it anyway - you might enjoy it once you get started. At least it will help you remember what you did yesterday. If you have very little time one day, try to do a couple of little things to keep you going. Still, it's better to try every day to cover all the materials that you are working on.
5 hours a day?
It is not the amount of time that is most important - but you do need to commit some time to practice every day. How you practice is essential and the focus and engagement you put into it is too. You can make a plan of what you want to cover and accomplish in your practice session. If you really engage, you will be so hooked, you can't stop. That's where the fun starts!
The time you need to practice, depends on your level, your age, and what shape you are in with your playing. If you play regularly, you will build up stamina so you can keep going longer. It's necessary that you have good posture so you don't get injuries, aches, and pains. With a good posture and a relaxed and efficient way of playing, you can play longer without getting tire. A young beginner might benefit from practicing in short sessions, 5-10 minutes perhaps a few times a day. When you have played for some years, you may be playing longer pieces and more exercises - you might then need 30 minutes or more. When you are advanced, you may want to pracitce several hours to cover all your pieces, technical materials, ensemble works, and so on.
Slow and Fast Plan how to - Practice slow - Drill
Plan your fingering and your motions. Then practice slowly and steadily. A lot. Focus completely with purpose. Play slow, think fast - and feel how the muscle memory starts helping you after a while. Then drill gradually faster so everything is even and steady without any bumps. Use the metronome to help you, one notch faster at a time.
Be patient, progress will come, if you keep at it. Things take time. In the meantime, be nice to yourself and remember to praise yourself when you feel you practiced well.
Practice Routines - Enjoy it!
If you are in a bad mood, it may make you feel better to play your instrument - and that's good. However, for the everyday work, setting up a good framework for your practice is a good routine. Playing and practicing should be something you look forward to do. Sometimes, doing it at the same time every day - or at least having set a specific time each day in the week - helps you get into it more easily. Be in a good frame of mind so you can think clearly, focus well, and enjoy playing.
Practicing your exercises should be as interesting as practicing your pieces. Building your technique is like solving puzzles - there is something you have to figure out how to do. You can try to solve a puzzle by looking at it from different perspectives. Sometimes you have to invent these ways yourself to figure it out. That's what practice is all about and what makes it rewarding and "fun".