“I just go to the piano simply because I’m naturally attracted to it, not because I ever feel I have a task to accomplish. Well, I do in a way, but only in the sense that it’s just continuing a journey with a certain piece, or with a number of pieces at the same time.”
— Piano virtuoso Marc-André Hamelin talk about practicing this morning.
Hear him talk about practice on Classical KDFC.
Annie Bosler and Don Greene’s TED-Ed talk “How to Practice Effectively” provides a great summary of how to get the most from your practice sessions.
Here are the tips given for more effective practice:
- Focus on the task on hand. Minimize distractions (turn off screens and phones!).
- Start slowly or in slow motion. Coordination is built with repetitions. If you gradually increase the speed of the quality repetitions you have a better chance of doing them correctly.
- Frequent repetitions with allotted breaks are common practice habits of elite performers. Many divide their time for effective practice into multiple daily practice sessions.
- Practice in your brain in vivid detail. Visualize everything. Once a physical motion has been established it can be reinforced just by imagining it.