September 12th, 2022 • Teacher Tips
Keeping Practice Interesting
Provided by Trisha Berquist, violin/viola Artist-Faculty
As we are settling into our routines for the school year, I’m happy to share a few ideas to keep our practice routine interesting. When we tap into our curiosity and creativity, our minds absorb information differently. We all love to play our instruments, so the more play we can add to practice, the more joy we can find in the process. Below are a few strategies to mix things up in the practice room.
Random practice – Changing our routine can keep our minds more active. If you find yourself spacing out during your scale routine, try breaking it up by picking a random key, random tempo, and random bowing. Practice your passage in different rooms of your house. Try using dice to pick a random number of repetitions.
Focus Point practice – Write some of your focus points for the week on brightly colored paper. I find it best to pick one to two words. (For example – “ringing tone,” “curved pinky,” “whole bows,” “forte,” “breathe”) Place one of the sheets on a music stand to remind you of the focus point while you work on a passage.
Interval Timer – As you get closer to performance, pick a tricky measure that you want to make sure you nail every time. Set a timer to go off every 3-5 minutes, and return to your regular practice routine. When the timer goes off you should play the tricky measure just once, just like in a concert. Then return to what you were practicing.