About Practice Strategy
Be prepared to spend the time to find what types of practice strategies work best for you. To become an efficient and great performer it takes the will-power to go the extra mile to be the best. It is reasonable to imagine that not all practice strategies work for everyone to meet this goal. If that was the case then many musicians would perform at similar levels and true brilliance would be hard to spot.
Have the Right Tools
Practice Strategy 6 – Be Prepared is simple, easy and brilliant. Like the famous Boy Scout motto says, “Be Prepared,” having the right tools easily accessible to fix a problem, or a potential problem is just plain smart. Being in the habit of having these tools with you on a regular basis may require some conditioning, however, they will pay off huge dividends in the future.
Prior to committing to a quality practice session be sure to have the following practice tools available:
- Music (Method Book, sheet music, etc.)
- Music Stand
- Practice game plan
- Audio and/ or video recording device
- Oil, reeds, slide grease
- Practice Journal/ Note Pad
- Mutes or other specialized musical accessories
Having the Right Tools are Just Part of the Process
Having an effective practice strategy is a process that is not just about having the newest and shiniest musical toys. Be sure that every tool you use has a purposeful reason for being present. It is also recommended that you do the following in your practice session:
- Make sure your instrument is fully functional
- Use the restroom before you practice
- Turn off and remove any non-essential devices (such as a cell phone)
- Get your head in the right mindset for practicing
- Warm-up before strenuous playing takes place
Sometimes the best practice sessions are simple and can be marked off a checklist. Effective and strategic practice plans don’t have to be complex. In fact, it may be wiser to master the strategies that you can use tools to assist you to meet your goals. What are your thoughts? How does your perspective differ from this practice strategy? Or perhaps you already use these tools in your own practice or with your students. Regardless, I hope these recommendations will provide a reason to reflect and act.
Be Prepared: The origin story behind the Scout motto. (2017, May 04). Retrieved from https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2017/05/08/be-prepared-scout-motto-origin/
Kish, D. (2017). Practicing with purpose: An indispensable resource to increase musical proficiency: Featuring 50 practice techniques!Delray Beach, FL: Meredith Music Publications.
Practice Strategies – The Music School, Inc. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bing.com/cr?IG=BB5BCE8056E5498FB9C7158388390A5A&CID=31278BF5C4AD6A38247887C9C5506B9E&rd=1&h=hFT6z_lwA5N1imGEp-dmEWqG-lzNDyGfdCjX-ymsxwA&v=1&r=http://www.themusicschoolinc.com/practice strategies.htm&p=DevEx.LB.1,5094.1
Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cwu.edu/music/horn-practice-strategies
Tsioulcas, A. (2013, September 03). 10 Easy Ways To Optimize Your Music Practice. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/deceptivecadence/2013/09/03/216906386/10-easy-ways-to-optimize-your-music-practice