A lot of time and dedication goes into practicing, playing or studying music, especially if you want to perform at that concert or finish a music exam. These 5 tips will get you progressing toward your goal in no time.
1. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
It goes without saying that practicing should be at the top of your list. The old saying "practice makes perfect"still rings just as true today as it did centuries ago. Don't just practice for the sake of it though, practice with intent and focus. Use your time wisely. Instead of playing the same passage 20 times with that same mistake, stop en think on what you are doing wrong and correct. Students should get into the habit of practicing at least 15 minutes a day, 5 to 6 times a week. You are allowed one day off! Practicing after lesson is also the best thing you can do for your progress. Practicing times should increase as you progress higher with your playing level. But any good and smart practice can give you good progress.
Playing is not just making noise until the noise becomes something recognisable. You have to listen to what you are doing. Listening develops musicality, a skill that you will need as you go higher with your levels. Listen not only to what you are doing, but listen to recordings of your pieces: either the entire piece or passages that you are working on. Try to replicate what you are hearing to develop not just that musicality but also much quicker fluency in your pieces.
3. WORK ON YOUR SIGHT READING
Sight Reading is often overlooked. There is a saying that you are actually on the level that you can sight read. While not entirely true, reading still forms the basis of music. If you cannot read the notes, how are you going to play the piece or correct mistakes when they happen?
4. ATTEND LESSONS
It is sometimes easy to make excuses not to get to lessons due to other activities. The problem is, we tend to forget what we have learned with music very easily. So regular weekly attendance of your lessons is crucial in progress. If you don't have any other choice or perhaps you are sick and cannot attend, then don't skip the entire week. Keep on practicing and work on the current homework assignments or try to peek ahead to keep your progress constant.
5. ASK QUESTIONS
Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as possible during of after your lesson. Don't know what that symbol means, ask! Struggling to work out that ledger line note, ask! Can't remember the rhythm to that fast passage, ask! If you don't ask, your teacher will not always know what you are truly struggling with.