“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”
–Jonathan Swift (The Musician’s Way, p. 310)

We all know that musical excellence results from smart, steady practice over a span of years.

Still, it isn’t always easy for us to practice deliberately day after day.

The following 6 strategies help us stay on track and proceed step by step to achieving boundless artistic growth.

1. Clarify Short & Long-Term Goals
When we connect our small daily goals to our deepest lifelong ones, even basic exercises crackle with meaning.

If you’d like to reinvigorate your practice, a strategy I recommend is to document your artistic vision, which distills long-term goals, and then use the free practice sheet at MusiciansWay.com to organize your material and aims for the coming week.

2. Commit to a Schedule
Along with specifying aims, it’s crucial that we map out daily times to practice and then show up and work regardless of our mood.

3. Focus on Process
Goals and schedules amount to little if we don’t work intelligently. So, as you practice, reinforce habits of excellence and solve problems as they arise.

4. Seek Feedback
Even when we’re doing our best, we sometimes overlook faults. Be sure to record yourself regularly and also consult seasoned artists to help you transcend your limitations.

5. Be Objective & Detached
Whether we’re evaluating ourselves or listening to feedback from others, we should treat critiques as neutral information instead of tinging them with any emotional charge.

6. Embody Positivity
Along with adopting smart practice strategies, we also need to nurture positive emotions, especially when we collaborate. Then, our practice fuels both our music and our wellbeing.

Read more about effective practice, performance and creative habits in The Musician’s Way.

Related posts
The Abundance Mentality
The Big Bag of Experience
Glorious Details
The Meaning in Mistakes
Solving Problems in Practice

© 2016 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © M. Ascough, licensed from Shutterstock


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