Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Practice.... Hours and hours of practice....

I once heard an interview with Lily Afshar (I think it was her... 99% sure) where she described her time as a student. She talked about practicing for 8 to 13 hours a day.... EIGHT to THIRTEEN hours a day... WOW!! That is some serious practicing, and unless you are extremely focused or have no life at all, this is a near impossibility.
Take me for example, I work 6 days a week teaching guitar mostly. I practice about 4 hours a day. Usually I practice from 9am-11:30 or so, and then from 8:30-11:30 or something like that. With small breaks within the sections. There is simply not enough time for 13 hours!!!!
So here are some ideas that I have learned from teachers and players to streamline practice....

1. Keep a list of problem technical areas or challenging expressive elements that you are trying to overcome. This will keep your practice focused and efficient. As we all know, it is very easy to practice your core repertoire over and over and over and over and ..........

2. Separate your practice into distinct sections. For example, I break my practice between technical work, learning new repertoire, practicing old repertoire, and trouble shooting difficult sections. Keep them distinct and separate.

3. Start practicing new or more important pieces first... This type of practice will really get your brain focused on the important stuff before gets distracted.

4. Take breaks. Sometimes frustration or malaise can slow practice till it is almost useless. Therefore take breaks and come back fresh whenever you need it.

These a just a few ideas that have occurred to me as I was practicing this morning. I will be posting more and more in the coming posts...

Michel Chatara-Morse


Anonymous said...

Michael, I was wondering what inspired you to teach? And I teach guitar in Michigan and was wondering if u saw this movie that came out in chicago I think the name of it was Once if so I was wondering if you had any comments about it. Me and some of my students highly enjoyed and I recommend it to you!

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