Music Practice Tip #1: Never Practice Mistakes
Never practice mistakes
You may say to yourself, “Why would I do that?” However, I have found that most people tend to look over their mistakes or simply do not recognize them. Whenever we repeat the wrong notes or musical ideas incorrectly, our brain remembers it even if we recognize it as a mistake. Much care (and caution) must go into ensuring that we are problem solvers when it comes to playing our instrument.
When you first get a new piece of music, etude, or exercise make sure that you spend time planning fingers, breathing, bowings, etc. so that you can minimize making corrections later. This will help your mind to be more settled with the music in the long run. Also, spend time away from your instrument with the score and imagine your phrasing/musical ideas; if you are an improvising musician—imagine/sing your solos. Often times we limit our musical creativity to our capability and proficiency on our instrument. Spending time without our primary instrument allows the imagination to be free and some of the most creative ideas flow from here.
Honestly, sometimes I give into the temptation to practice mistakes when I am rushed for time to learn a lot of music. When I am in this situation, I like to do more mental practice than anything. Practicing away from the cello and maybe sitting at a piano playing through phrases and literally practicing the cello in my head has proven to be most useful. Furthermore, I have found that my mind does not remember mistakes when I practice mentally. This way I feel more grounded on the day of the concert.
Patience is the key….
Feel free to comment or ask questions!