Beyond the notes

The goal of practising is to achieve a freedom of the mind that enables one to physically do whatever they want to do. Careful practising eventually allows one the freedom to be spontaneous to react onstage to the moment. Yo Yo Ma This is such a true quote and I think the key word here…

Quality not quantity

Practising is about quality not quantity Yo Yo Ma This has to be my most favourite quote about music practice! It might work well for others but clock watching never led to very productive practice sessions while I was learning. I found it far better to have a goal in mind rather than sit down…

Making mistakes

How do you view your mistakes in the practice room? Most of the time I think we perhaps react to our mistakes emotionally. We feel bad because we got it wrong. But perhaps we need to shift our perspective. Firstly, one thing guaranteed when learning a musical instrument is that you are going to make…

Horowitz on practice

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is practice Vladimir Horowitz A great quote from Vladimir Horowitz! Here is the man himself playing one of my favourites at the age of 75. I did not realise that he struggled with public performance and on several occasions had to be pushed on to the stage.

Playing the music through is not practice

As a music teacher, one of the most common questions I get asked is about practice – including ‘how long should I or my child practice for?’ and ‘how do I motivate them?’. There’s not a ‘one size fits all’ for either question – we all have different personalities and what works for one person…