Practice Book ^^

Do you have a practice book?

I’ve had one for a while and I’ve just gotten back into using it. I found that right before auditions it is most useful. Because this one particular annual audition is always at a time when I’m insanely busy (midterms, ahem), I don’t have much time to practice. I’m usually one to play my pieces over a lot at performance tempo, convincing myself that I’m “getting the feel of it” and I’ll practice the technical aspects later. Alas, sometimes this doesn’t happen.

With the practice journal, I write down very specific things that I want to get right, like a particular line in the piece. Then, I’ll write down how I’ll do it (this usually involves metronome torture, sigh). I also put on a timer, set to 10 minutes, so that I can check in and make sure I’m not just playing automatically.

If I practice this way, while actually thinking about the music, I find that I’m so much more satisfied with the results, and that they carry over almost the next day. I’ve been trying forever to find a new method to make the pieces “stick”—I can play them almost perfectly one day, and then the next it seems I’ve never worked on it. I think that this “intelligent practice” really does help, and cuts down on the time I have to spend.