Topic of the week (4): Think twice, play once!
Do you sometimes say something you wish you hadn't, maybe because it wasn't nice or it made no sense? So you tell yourself « think twice before you speak! »
In the same way when you practise, you think you have to play first in order to see how it sounds and then, play again to correct and improve. Now when you play the first time, maybe you are playing something that is not nice or that makes no sense. You know at once you don't want to play this way, but it's too late.
What would be more efficient is thinking about what you want to play and how you want to play it first, and then, only then, do it exactly as you imagined! Thus, you don't need to correct yourself, because you are playing the way you planned.
So... whatever you play, even if you repeat it 2, 3, or 10 times, think twice before you play!
Topic of the week (3): don't forget your goal!
Hi guys! This topic is especially written for music students who always practise too much and never get the satisfaction of their work...
What is your goal? A competition? An exam? A concert? First you need to have a goal, otherwise why do you practise so much?
Your goal is to play your piece(s) the best you can on stage on the very day. You want to be there, to be concentrated and free, to controle your playing and be creative, to feel both relaxed and excited. So that is exactly what you want to practise every day!
Of course you need to practise your pieces, but don't overpractise or you will get caught in the technical aspect only and get tense and unable to enjoy yourself. So keep in mind that your goal is just to play well and be satisfied with yourself...always!
Hi there!! Let’s start with an example: when you go to work (or to school) every day, your goal is getting there, so you don’t really see all the things you go past, you don’t really think about what you are doing, you already know the way and so you walk (or drive, or ride) automatically.
When you practise a piece of music, the goal is not to get to the end but to achieve the highest quality level, this means you have to be aware of everything, the slightest detail, no matter how quick or little.
Try, one day, to look at all the things you're going past on your way to work (or to school): you would have to go a little slower than usually. It is the same with music. When you are used to a piece of music, because you played it so many times, you run the risk to overlook the details and the little things in-between.
So, when you practise, even if you can already play the piece faster, don't rush into it. Every day until the last moment before a concert, or a competition, or a class, return to slower tempo, so that you can control and pay attention to everything.
So... practise slowly to keep the high quality of your playing!
Topic of the week : get ready for practise!
You often think you have to warm up with some fast exercises for your fingers to get ready (like by Schradieck) but you should first get your body ready for practise!
Do some sports to warm up all your muscles, then some streches to elongate them and maybe some yoga exercises to get fully centered. Lay down and let your stomac breath, make sure you feel all the parts of your own body because they are going to work together when you play!
Then stand up and get started with some slow technical exercises, first, open strings only, then also with the left hand. If your arms and fingers are already warmed up, you won't lose your time and energy trying to get ready but you will actually be able to work on your technical skills.
So... instead of just warming up with exercises, use them to improve your technic!
Thanks to my student Nhat Ha, who got me to think of this really important topic yesterday!