Practice – goals

When you practice, try to have a specific goal in mind. Otherwise your session can become passive and aimless.

Some sample goals:

1. Play the most complicated measure of the piece SLOWLY five times in a row with correct bowings and fingerings.

2. Play the most complicated measure of the piece for memory in front of a mirror.

3. Play the most complicated measure of the piece cleanly five times in a row one metronome click faster than I did yesterday.

The problem that everyone faces is that the ego wants to be stroked – we want to quickly run through the music to prove to ourselves that we are good. Having a specific goal can get the ego to shut up long enough for us to improve. Rule of thumb: if you aren’t sounding beautiful you should change your focus.

Also, know that you can only learn one thing at a time! Your goals can prevent you from being overwhelmed by trying to improve all aspects at once. Then you can finish your session with a feeling of satisfaction rather than frustration. You and your ego end up being friends!

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