NPR’s 10 Easy Ways to Optimize Practice


NPR Classical shared an old article of theirs this afternoon, and I thought I should share it with you! Their 10 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Music Practice are really great tips for students who need to give a super boost to their practice at home. These tips mirror a lot of what we discuss during lessons, but there are also a few new tips that might inspire some creative practicing.

Here are two of my favorite bits of advice and some personal thoughts:

“Find somewhere quiet.”
This is something that can be difficult sometimes. Students need a place to practice that is quiet, which sometimes means allowing them to practice in a room that is “out of the way.” It’s not always convenient for a piano to be in a room that isn’t a common area, so try to make accommodations for students to have their own time/space to practice.

Sure, younger students will need assistance, and will benefit from parents who listen and encourage them to follow their practice directions, but teenagers often need more privacy when it comes to practicing. This is especially true for vocalists! My mother swore that I never practiced when I was young — I just waited until she wasn’t in the house!

“Challenge yourself — physically.”

I found this one particularly interesting. Try practicing a difficult passage while standing at the piano, or sing while rubbing your belly and patting your head. Hop on one foot — try something crazy!

“(…) your brain is likely to start carving out new neural pathways — and the original task will be easier when you return to just doing that.”

Be sure to click the link above to read the whole story. This is something that parents and students can benefit from reading!

Remember — it’s not “Practice Makes Perfect” — it’s “Perfect Practice Makes Progress.”

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