Play faster and better with this 1 weird old trick!

Play faster and better with this 1 weird old trick!

Well, actually it’s a couple of weird old tricks.

With intention and careful attention.
Be kind to yourself.

The most important parts:

Practicing with intention is not the same as just playing through the music or working the forms or throwing the ball or whatever you’re practicing. Take a minute before you start and use it to choose some things to notice and work on during this session. Focus your intention on the specific things you’re choosing to practice this time.

Check in periodically to make sure you’re still bringing careful attention to your practice. If you’ve lost focus, that’s fine—just bring yourself back to attention and get back into it.

Be kind to yourself. None of us are perfect at this; that’s why we practice. Learning and improving are unpredictable processes, and progress isn’t linear. Be gentle with yourself on the days when nothing works. Stay at it.

And remember to keep practicing. It’s easy to spend a lot of time researching practice techniques—and there’s nothing wrong with that!—and forget to actually spend any time working on what you learned. Put the time in, with careful attention, focused intention, and a gentle spirit, and you’ll be repaid.

Actually, this is true in many parts of life.

I think most people can make big strides in practicing this on their own, but if you’d like help with it, please ask. I teach private lessons and am happy to offer them over Skype or Google Hangouts to people who don’t live in northern NY. If you’re interested, please get in touch.

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