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Best (and WORST!) Ways of Practicing
The following contribution comes from Louise Mann.

The Top 10 Best Ways to Practice
1. Play at a speed (tempo) that allows for accuracy and no fumbles, frustration, or stops and starts.
2. Step 1.
3. Continue to repeat Step 1.
4. Gradually increase tempo.
5. Note where, when and why mistakes occur and analyze for solution.
6. Cut out hard spots and work ‘em to death, then back up a bit and paste them back in.
7. Remember: 3 times in a row without a mistake. This can be done on a small section, larger section, or the whole piece.
8. Patience – practice right no matter what. Take plenty of patience pills (breathe!).
9. Start today, don’t delay! And plan fingerings early!
10. Engage the ear and brain!                 Cont…

 

The Top 10 Worst Ways to Practice
1. Start from the beginning and fumble through to the end.
2. Repeat Step 1.
3. Continue to repeat Step 1 while growing tired of making the same mistakes in the same places over and over again.
4. Make mistakes and correct/continue without making mental post-its of where or why they occurred.
5. Repeat Step 4, probably while repeating Steps 1, 2 and 3.
6. Practice the parts you can already play, and neglect the ones you can’t.
7. Repeat Step 6, probably while repeating Steps 1-5.
8. Too fast—too soon—too often. Get pulled over for speeding.
9. Ignore all those numbers above and below the notes.
10. Last minute cram-sessions.

Is your student practicing enough? See this Table of Practice Times:

1 60-minute Practice per Week = 2 Months Progress in 12 Months
1 30-minute Practice per Day = 6 Months Progress in 12 Months
1 45-minute Practice per Day = 12 Months Progress in 12 Months
1 60-minute Practice per Day = 15 Months Progress in 12 Months
1 90-minute Practice per Day = 24 Months Progress in 12 Months
2 Hours Practice per Day = 36 Months Progress in 12 Month