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Tips for How to Practice

  • Pick a quiet place to practice where you can focus.
  • Pick a time of day to practice and develop a regular practice schedule/routine.
  • Warm up to loosen the muscles you’ll be working.
  • Posture - THINK - Play!
  • Begin by working on the fundamentals such as scales, finger or bow exercises.
  • Have specific goals.
  • Practice SLOWLY.
  • Practice what you can't play and zero in on the trickiest spots.
  • Don't practice mistakes; fix them immediately.
  • Identify what you are trying to improve!  Finger, hand, arm position?  Intonation?  Rhythm?  Vibrato? Tempo?  Memorization?  Posture?
  • Campaign to SAY NO to mindless practicing! Your brain is your best teacher!
  • Listen to yourself. (Know what you’re listening for--rhythm, pitch, articulation, tone, phrasing).
  • Recall keywords used at your lesson by your teacher. (Learn to listen for those words at lesson to help you practice in the same way at home.)
  • Ask yourself questions. How is this supposed to Feel? Sound? Look?
  • Stop practicing when you are too tired to play, too frustrated to concentrate or can no longer focus.
  • End on a positive note such as ending your practice session with review pieces or pieces that you can play well. 
  • Practice often but not necessarily for a great amount of time! Several 20 minute sessions may accomplish more than 1 hour at a time.
  • Good practice habits will result in more productive lessons and successful performances.

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