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Monday, August 20, 2012

7 Ways to Improve Progress

One of the greatest motivators to musicians of any age is the ability to improve in a continuous and perceivable fashion. As we approach a new school year, it is a good time to find ways to enrich the experience of studying music. Here's a (hopefully) concise list of suggestions. Perhaps not all will apply to your family, but you might benefit from implementing even just a few.

  1. Practice every day. In our busy lives, it's easy to take days off, but much harder to recover from them. In general, it takes about two days of practice to recoup from one missed day, sometimes more.  
  2. Listen repeatedly to the current working piece and to the next couple of pieces.
  3. Listen ahead to the next book. It doesn't hurt to listen to all of the Suzuki books on a somewhat regular basis. 
  4. Listen more. Really this is the easiest thing to do on this list, and one of the most helpful. Just press play and let there be cello music in the background.
  5. Engage in your child's lessons and group classes as an observer and note-taker. Remember, as the parent it's your lesson too. Take precise and detailed notes, and make videos, either of the whole lesson or parts so that you can review them at home.
  6. Attend performances whenever possible. Inspiration is vital, and should be an ongoing pursuit.
  7. Set specific attainable practice goals, but be careful not to set deadlines.

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