Practice Tips and Expectations

Never practice faster than perfection. Practice slowly.

"Orchakitty's 4 Practice Tips"

1. Practice Melodies * 2. Practice Difficult Parts * 3. Practice Shifts * 4. Practice Awkward Bowings.

Practice is a uniquely personal thing. People practice in different ways and the way you practice can change over time. Below are suggestions - but remember the most important part - the only part that is not negotiable - you have to do it! The hardest part is starting

  • Try setting a timer to the amount of time you have/can handle
  • Set short goals and quit when you accomplish them - or don't quit if you don't want to
  • Give yourself something new, something fun, and something difficult every time

* Check Dashboard. Prepare what dashboard tells you to prepare before class.

* If you are having a hard time with a passage, try air or shoulder bowing, plucking then bowing, clapping , or listen to a recording!

* Practice in front of a mirror! Make sure you are set up correctly as the way you are sitting may be making it more difficult to play correctly.

"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."

- Vince Lombardi

More great tips

1. Take short, frequent breaks.

2. Never play through pain. Discomfort or struggle are fine, but pain should be met with rest and consultation for further action.

3. When you are practicing a difficult section, do the measure before it and the measure after it as well - it can help you bring the sections together just a little bit more.

4. Use the dynamics all of the time. Instead of adding dynamics after the piece is learned, incorporate them from the beginning.

5. Experiment!! None of us know everything - Use your imagination, experiment, and take risks.

Practice MUST-HAVE's

  • A quality working instrument, rosin, sheet music, and books.
  • A quiet & consistent place and time of day for practice - routine is imperative.
  • A music stand. Even a simple wire stand is fine, but a music stand is a must.
  • A pencil. This can be used to mark problematic fingerings, bowings, or just general reminders in the music.

Practice GOOD TO HAVE's

1- Supplemental lessons with a professional string player in the area. Please contact me if you have further questions regarding this.

2- A metronome. There are many decent metronomes that can be downloaded from a smartphone app store, they can also be found online, or you can go the traditional route and buy a dedicated electronic metronome. These are very important in helping your child development steady tempo.

3- SMARTMUSIC! Please visit www.smartmusic.comto find out more information. This is a worthwhile investment and the annual subscription is less than most common monthly bills!

4- A practical pal - when you get together with friends, get your instruments out once in a while and play your music!

Practice Expectations

  • Practice is homework for instrumental music. It is no different in any discernible sense. Homework needs to be completed nightly.
  • Students must practice on nights they have homework. Typically this is Monday - Thursday. Again, practice is part of homework.
  • Any practice minute minimum is arbitrary. If I had to choose, I would say 15 minutes 5 times a week to see progress.
  • Students can practice longer if they wish - a good parallel is reading. You would certainly encourage a child to read more if they chose to do so. After all lesson assignments are completed, students are of course encouraged to play more if they wish.