Wednesday, January 8, 2014

True Confession

My personal practice has been "on hold" since December 11.

Don't get me wrong. I've "played" my instrument. I've seen students. I've prepared for their lessons. But I've not "practiced" in weeks!

You might ask, "What's the difference between playing and practicing?" Here's an excerpt from a post I recently read on the Practicing Musician blog, (editor/owner - Bradford). It gives you an idea of how playing and practicing are two distinctly different activities.

Playing: This is when you enjoy the hard work you’ve put into practicing, that is, you just play. When you play you are really concerned with only one thing: the experience. You might pay small attention to technique and musicality but for the most part you are just ‘going for it’ and letting your musical training and inspiration run free. This is not really practicing. When you are playing you are not able to improve anything, you simply test out or try to execute the material.
Practicing: Practicing is when you are actually solving problems, that is, you are finding weaknesses and defects in your musicality that are either caused by technique, interpretation, reading, or how you envision the piece of music. You then set about fixing the problems and improving yourself as a musician. So the rule is that when you practice you identify a problem and set about fixing it. Clarity is key to good practice. Think about when a music teacher critiques a student, they have to clearly state what the problem is and then offer up a solution. You must be your own teacher when you practice.
Click here to read the entire article. I hope it will inspire lots of practice time in the new year!

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