top of page

The Anatomy of Deliberate Practice

First things first, some definitions:

Musician= s/he who imagines sound & moves to create that sound

Practice = detailed study of musical imagination & physical movement

So, let's NOT practice notes, let's practice movement!

And don't repeat to "get familiar". Achieve a "change" in your movement approach, then repeat to reinforce. Preferably at the speed of no mistakes 😜

Movement has speed, angle, weight, shape, & sequence.

Here are some highly effective methods to change our movements:

1) Isolation Training  - only a few notes, but with acute intention.

2) Separation Training - only working on pitch, or breath, or articulation or rhythm, or left hand alone, right hand alone, diction without pitch etc.

3) Pattern Training - putting a “pattern” of a piece and creating an exercise for automaticity. For example putting a slur and articulation pattern into one of your scales during practice.

4) Sequence Training - what happens first, what happens second? Sequence training breaks down the order of events in slow motion. For example: Bow draws right, new finger goes down, old finger lifts, bow draws left.

5) Cross Training - practicing notes out of order, in rhythms, upside down intervals, adding or subtracting slurs, any kind of whacky practice that challenges the brain to perceive old material in a new way.

6) Ergonomic Training - releasing tension, working on posture, breath, freedom, avoiding physical fatigue as the main focus.

For all practice methods, aim for exaggeration.

Any physical “cue” works best exaggerated during training. The more ingrained your old habit, the more you need to exaggerate to form a new one.



Once a month I send you the latest tips to help make your practice more insightful. Plus, sign up and I'll send you the intro + 3 sample prompts from the Practizma Practice Journal as a gift.

bottom of page