Practice

Practice Strategy: Video Game Start-Overs

Have you ever had the following problem?

Every time you get to a certain spot in a piece, you make the same error. It could be, for example, an incorrect fingering, an incorrect rhythm (like adding a pause or rushing through a rhythm), or an incorrect pitch.

Every time it happens, you recognize the error has happened. In fact, you probably knew in advance that it was going to happen. Right after it happens, you try again — starting at where you made the error, but making the correction this time — and continue the piece. 

The deeper problem here is the fact that this entire process repeats itself every time you play the piece. The trouble spot persists, even though you already know how to play the passage correctly.

I’ve encountered this problem in my own practice, and have observed it in my students, too. 

How do we combat this problem? How can we solve those stubborn “trouble spots” for once and for all? 

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Teaching Piano

Wanting To Play The Part: Motivation and Turning Points for Students

When I was a kid, I participated in a play called “Tea For Felicity.”

I was a shy, introverted kid. I wasn’t exactly “actress material”.

However, I did want to be part of this play.

I auditioned, and somehow won the part of Felicity’s best friend.

My mother sewed me a Colonial era gown, complete with gathered sleeves and a white bonnet. I practiced and memorized my lines. I attended rehearsals, and helped paint the sets. 

There was one problem. 

I didn’t speak loudly enough onstage for my lines to be easily heard easily from the audience’s perspective. The play director asked me to speak out more. My mother coached me at home, letting me know I still wasn’t speaking loud enough. When I tried, I could deliver a louder rendition upon being asked. But the next time I read a line, I reverted to my normal volume. 

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