This article made its way through the facebook newsfeed today. If you look at the basic practice guidelines near the end, you will notice something very similar what I tell my students ALL THE TIME:
1. WHERE is the problem?
2. WHAT is the problem?
3. WHY did I make that mistake?
4. HOW can I fix it?
You can’t make this leap at 6 years old, sure. When you’re a 6-year-old violin player, your half-hour a day is often filled up with playing all your pieces in the first Suzuki book and practicing 20 bow lifts with your thumb in the right place. But I go through this with every student over 12 or so, especially when they take a piece and swear up and down that they practiced all week and didn’t make much progress. Here’s the official newsflash I always try to share: you can practice 6 hours a day and get nothing done.
It’s a tedious process at first, but scrutinizing every mistake in learning a piece and setting thoughtful goals for yourself really does take you to the next level. It’s something I often repeat to myself to guide my precious little practice time I usually have.