I hope everyone is enjoying the Mother´s Day Weekend. I am about to step out with my daughters for a dinner in our favorite Italian restaurant here in Graz, but before I start getting ready I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on practicing.
As all of you know competency is in direct relationship with the study of the matter. As a musician, that matter for me is music and the instrument of expression is voice. When I was at the beginning of my professional journey as a musician I was a little bit puzzled when it comes to practice.
Soon I came to understand that the name of the game was - practice strategy!
Development or improvement of the skills need controlled setting for maximum result, motivation, sense of accomplishment and burning desire.
Where to start?
The best place to start is to evaluate the current situation. Where are you now and where do you see yourself? What are your performance goals? Define the problems which are standing between your current situation and your performance goals. This will create some clarity around what you need to focus on.
How to be efficient in your practice time?
When it comes to practicing, for me, it´s all about efficiency. It´s not about the time, but about the effect. Therefore, a well-developed plan of what needs to be worked on and setting of measurable goals is of great value. This is what I call practice strategy. Not only it creates a sense of accomplishment, but it also takes the pressure off and enhances the motivation.
Strategies for individual practice can vary a lot, but they all should include certain tasks which are in alignment with the goals.
For example, let´s say that the goal is to learn how to sing vocal harmony. The practice tasks should target harmonic ear training. Clear defined tasks of learning to hear and sing different intervals and apply them to melodies as well as listening and singing along with the recordings should be part of this practice strategy.
I hope this will inspire you to use your practice time more efficient!