Practice Tips For Play Piano or Violin Well

  • Always work to a plan
  • Know what needs to be achieved in each practice time
  • Small sections practised slowly and thoroughly are always more successful than longer passages given less care
  • Sometimes begin with the ‘difficult bits’ rather than starting at the beginning
  • Vary the work to avoid boredom, having other, perhaps easier, pieces to hand
  • Make sure the all-important ‘finger memory’ is in place before moving on
  • Sometimes practise playing straight through, noticing the trouble spots and returning to them later
  • Be aware of the pulse – it’s dangerously easy to slow up for awkward corners
  • Know when to stop. Focused work for a short period is better than playing through for longer
  • Perfect practice makes perfect!
  • What you can’t play slowly you can’t play fast
  • The only way to learn to sight read is to sight read
  • Pedal with your ears! (Generally applies to pianists only for obvious reasons)
  • Enjoy what you play – a varied diet is essential
  • When you’ve finished listening – listen some more!
  • If you get stuck – stop – come back again later and try again
  • Fill every minute’s practice with 60 seconds of concentration
  • Practise in small chunks
  • Practise the whole performance experience – play your exam pieces to friends and family so you experience a few nerves and learn how to cope with them
  • Stop practising if you feel any physical discomfort or pain
  • Don’t practise when you’re tired

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