how to practice music

6 Steps to Self-Regulated Practicing

According to super-cool professor Dr. John Picone, there are six steps to self-regulated practicing. Master these and you will learn your music quickly and efficiently.

Turn Off the Autopilot When Practicing Music!

Now I know what my teacher meant when she kept reminding me to listen to what I was playing. If you aren't listening to the music you are creating, how do you know if it's any good? Learn more about mindfulness-based musicianship..

Using Video Tutorials in Your Studio, Starring Your Students

In my entry, Piano Pedagogy & Technology Musings, I unveiled my grand plan to create an online audio/visual library for my students to use to assist with their at-home practicing. So far, my students have enjoyed laughing at my How to Sit at the Piano video, in which I use one of Maestro's giant stuffed dogs to demonstrate. Likewise with my Troubleshooting video, which showed that even teachers need to drill trouble spots repeatedly to iron them out. A few of them actually ask, "Can we make a video clip of that?" so they can watch us working on one of their pieces at a later time.

I initially set out to make 12 videos but it looks like there will be at least 15 in all as I or my students get ideas of what else to shoot. However, I am sure that my students don't want to watch just me for all 15, so I've gone recruiting.

If this is something that you're thinking of trying your studio, I highly recommend having your students star in some of your video tutorials. Six students have eagerly stepped up to the plate to date with several more waiting for their turn. One student demonstrated how he practices his memory stations, one shared how she started learning a song in lead sheet form, while four shared stories they made up to go with their pieces. They're finding the whole experience a blast, while I am getting my share of laughs of smiles.

All you need is your digital camera (if it takes video) or a video recorder. Make sure you have at least 4 GB on your SD card (I have 8 GB). As far as movie editing software goes, I've just been using Windows Movie Maker, which has lots of tutorials and help menus. A tripod is a bonus.

As an alternative to posting them on your website, you could burn your videos onto a DVD-R or DVD/RW or share them with your students via memory stick or ftp. Mind you, if you and your students are on Facebook, all you'd have to do is create a group for your studio and post your videos to the group. Of course, there are sites like Youtube and Vimeo.

Next on the horizon are the videos on Outstanding Openings and Fabulous Photo Finishes. I think I'll go recruiting again to get students to demonstrate each of these.

(c) 2009 by Musespeak(tm), Calgary, AB, Canada. All rights reserved.

Making the Most of Music Practicing

"My head's exploding!" said one of my students as she walked into her lesson today. September is so exciting and hectic for students and their families. Back to school and back to their extracurricular activities. Homework and limited playtime. With any activity, establishing a regular routine is critical to ensure steady progress, growth and a sense of accomplishment. Set up a regular practice time in your child (or your own) schedule. Goal oriented practicing works well for many students, more than punching the clock, although general guidelines for practice times do exist. Do remember to warm-up, cool down and reflect upon what worked well in your session, what still needs work, what you enjoyed (or didn't) and what you need to ask the teacher at the next lesson.

Here a pretty good article on how to set up a good practice routine at home A Guide to Great Home Music Practice.

(c) 2006 by Musespeak(tm), Calgary, AB, Canada. All rights reserved.