Here are 5 music practice habits to aid you on your teaching journey!
1) Practice makes perfect-
We’ve heard it time and time again and probably said it to our students on more than one occasion. So maybe a better saying is “slow and precise practice makes perfect.” Encourage your students to practice in slow motion so that they can concentrate on their technique.
2) Quality over quantity-
It’s not how long a student spends practicing that counts, it’s the quality of their practice. Five minutes of focused practice is much better than 30-minutes of unfocused practice. Quality over quantity any and every day of the week.
3) Back to front reinforcement-
Repetition is important in the practice room. Have students isolate small music passages, such as the last four measures of a piece, and slowly practice them several times before increasing speed. Then have the student back up a few more measures and repeat the process, playing and reinforcing the previously learned passage. This back to front approach ensures that students are working toward something and reinforcing what they already know. This technique is so effective! And it really helps with memorization.
4) Quickly move from one piece to the next-
Transform how your brain processes new information. Whether you’re trying to improve your motor skills or cognitive learning abilities, break the habit of learning one facet of a skill at a time. Keep things moving when you practice. Don’t let your brain get too comfortable or store information in your short-term memory. If you quickly move from one piece to the next, also known as interleaving, your brain has to focus and problem solve every step of the way. As a result, the information will be stored in your long-term memory instead.
5) Listen before you work-
Some teachers oppose any listening prior to learning a new piece, concerned that it inhibits a student’s interpretation.The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Listening to music should begin at birth. Formal training may begin at age three or four, but it is never too late to begin. Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by others. We should listen carefully to everything before starting anything as it will helps us grow.