• Sandra Howe

When Practice Gets Boring...

So many of us, when we sit down to practise have the aim of having fun and yet fail to achieve what we would like on our instrument.

Where scheduling and planning goals may seem boring, being stuck playing the same pieces with little improvement is more tedious still.

Having fun is not a bad thing, and certainly not something we should shy away from. However, the “aim” of having fun is too broad a goal and can leave our practice lacking direction.

This is why I like to separate my practice into two forms and I frequently advise my students to do this too. The two forms are “work” and “play”. This is easy to remember. You need both forms of practise to be successful – this is non-negotiable.

Play practice is just where you play music you know for fun! Easy. Work practice is where you set a goal and get something done. It’s not as fun, because you are working outside your comfort zone a lot of the time, but this is where the real gains happen.

If your practice is all “work” you will quickly get bored and despondent. If your practice is all “play” you will find it takes a long time to improve. Having both forms is essential and can take your practice to the next level you need.

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