Let’s face it. We’re all busy people and we don’t have much time left in the day to get everything we really want to get done.
Isn’t “focused practice” just one more tedious thing to do?
It all depends on your perspective. Yes, it is a different way of practicing, but it will yield results for you a lot faster leaving you with time left over to get other things done.
More importantly, there are many long-term benefits that make this new routine worthwhile.
The Benefits of Focused Practice
When you engage in focused practice, it will change you over time. You will be able to see things in a more detailed way through completely different lenses.
In fact, your overall perception will adjust accordingly making this new style of practicing much easier to adopt.
Once you begin seeing results, you will know that it truly does work and your motivation to continue will increase.
Let’s take a closer look at how focused practice will help give you a more defined awareness of what you are reading on the page.
Better Overall Perception
1. You will be able to figure out what’s going to happen a lot sooner than the average person. Your vision while reading will broaden looking farther ahead in the music to the next few notes or measures before needing to play them.
2. Understanding of what you are seeing on the page will also increase at a faster rate leaving you with more time to respond. Your overall reaction time to each note will then rise dramatically. Being able to make decisions in a split second is critical to every musician.
3. Deeper listening will also become more developed, as well as, your sense of touch. You will be able to detect very small differences in pitch and volume of notes. Your fingers will become more engaged at a faster rate of speed to the notes on the page. Making finer distinctions through seeing, hearing, and feeling is what will set you apart from the rest of the crowd.
4. Information that is not obvious to most people will get easier for you to detect and become your little secret. That’s why most professional musicians don’t talk very readily about how they do what they do. The downside to this is the secret knowledge will be of no use to you unless you practice it diligently.
5. The power of being able to look further down the road and get a new perspective will open up to you. There is a real art to seeing things differently. Putting some practice principles in place will help you get better at this allowing your reading and understanding to become easier and more motivating.
Seeing is Believing
Of course, all of the benefits listed above are long-term. It will take time to experience a few of these results.
However, you can see many good things right away…
- I think you will be surprised at how quickly you can really learn a passage simply by working on it through smaller amounts at a time.
- Giving yourself permission to keep your practice sessions short will encourage you to do it more often. Doing too much all at once is a great recipe for burning yourself out.
- Working on only 1 thing at a time will bring you a sense of relief that you really don’t have to tackle the world all in one sitting.
- It won’t take long for your teacher to notice and give you positive feedback. They will be able to detect something you are doing differently within a week.
I could probably tell you many more positive elements of focused practice, but I’d rather have you try it out for yourself. Test it out and let me know how it’s working for you.