“The outset of learning is when you instill enduring habits because the brain and body tend to imprint.”
–The Musician’s Way, p. 42
Many music students begin working on new pieces by doing heaps of sketchy run-throughs and sloppy repetitions.
Then, after forming error-ridden habits, they’re obliged to spend countless hours struggling in the practice room to overwrite their flawed programming.
A more masterful strategy is to start with accuracy and continue being exact at each phase of ripening a piece.
To instill accuracy, we have to not only select material that fits our level but also work in ways that make slip-ups rare.
Of course, to discover interpretive ideas we might experiment freely and then make some mistakes here and there.
But when we repeat material in practice, we must uphold precision and not repeat errors.
Then our performances will be likely to contain few mistakes because our practice reinforced clarity and precision, and we didn’t introduce muddled habits.
Adapted from The Musician’s Way, page 22
© 2016 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © Volt Collection, licensed from Shutterstock