Efficient practice habits and tips.

Rx: Getting the most out of limited practice time.

Anastasia Tsioulcas over at the NPR Blog has a post about optimizing music practice. Getting the most out of limited time for practice is always worthwhile.

She lists ten things and give a short paragraph about each one, but they’re pretty self-explanatory (and useful!):

  1. Practice in a quiet space.
  2. Keep your tools and stuff nearby.
  3. Don’t spend too much time managing your practice technology stuff.
  4. Have a goal for the session before you being.
  5. Have a plan for spending your session time in a way that supports your practice goal.
  6. Use short chunks of time to stay focused.
  7. Don’t always start at the beginning, start in different places.
  8. Add a physical challenge to your playing.
  9. Visualize playing when you are not with your instrument.
  10. Reward hard work.

Some of these really resonate with me, the thing about technology especially. Visualization is something I’ve been doing a lot of and it seems to be helping as well.

One thing that I’ve done that is perhaps in opposition is that I’ve gotten used to practicing in a not-quiet space. It turns out that there are more noisy spaces available to me for practicing (where my own noise doesn’t cause any other problems because it’s just part of the mix). For a long time I looked for a place that was quiet but the thing about quiet places is that no one wants to hear someone practicing in a quiet place.

So perhaps, learning to concentrate through noise would be a useful skill if practice space is hard to come by.

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