Six Keys to Successful Practice

Practice is essential to learning music; the more you practice, the more quickly you will grow as a musician. We strongly recommend a minimum of twenty minutes of practice, five days a week.

  1. Practice slowly and carefully – thinking   constantly of what you are trying to accomplish. Concentrate on the work at hand and avoid automatic practice.
  2. Practice short sections of a song at one time. Keyboard players should practice hands separately first, then hands together. Wind players should practice fingering a difficult passage before actually playing it.
  3. Repeat each difficult part in the music until it can be correctly played three times in a row. (Once is accidental, twice is coincidental, and three times mastery.) Merely playing the music through once does not constitute practicing.
  4. Incorporate the proper rhythm, fingering, phrasing, articulation, and dynamics in your practices from the very first time you play a piece. Playing the correct notes is only a very small part of learning music.
  5. A few minutes of thorough practice are worth hours of haphazard, careless work. You’ve heard it said that “practice makes perfect”; though the truth is that only perfect practice makes perfect.
  6. Remember, no question you have is unimportant. That is why you take lessons. Communication between student and teacher is essential to learning.