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14 tips for Empowerment, Efficiency & Joy In Practice

Here are 14 tips that will make your practice more empowered, efficient and joyous!


1.Strategic self-encouragement: write down one thing you are particularly proud of at the end of each practice session.

2. Do one thing at a time don’t try to do everything at once. Concentrate on one aspect at a time. Break everything down into smaller and smaller components. Small achievable steps are the golden nuggets.

3. Make every practice session interesting, intriguing, and stimulating so it will maintain your curiosity. Boredom is a buzzkill. If you lose that sensation, it’s time for a break.

4. “First Takes” – Record your first takes in three different sections (or pieces). Don’t listen in between. At the end listen to all and analyze – are there common tendencies between all three? This is what you can use for goal setting.

5. Errors are an opportunity to learn...they are part one of discovery. Feedback is not criticism – it is a short cut to discovering errors and solutions.


1. Add a note backwards

2. Expanding Snippets

3. Video record yourself, refine, video record yourself again (don't skip the last step)

4. Selective Inattention – Record the same excerpt of music three times and concentrate both in your performance and your analysis on three different variables, such as intonation, character, rhythm, etc. Concentrate only on one variable at a time.


1. Incorporate at least a short stint of total goof-off time on your instrument every time you practice. Play by ear, run through old tunes, play along with a recording, anything that is pure joy. 

2. Gamify with apps to work on music skills:

  • ​Daily Decision App (for technique)

  • Read Rhythm App (for rhythm)

  • Video Delay (for a better mirror)

  • Sightreading

3. Enlist a practice buddy or two – someone who practices at the same time as you and shares in your tribulations and successes.

4. “Progress” – Record yourself once a week and DO NOT listen back until you have a month’s worth of recordings. Then listen to the journey.

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