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Monday, May 15, 2006

Perfect Practice

Today's Sydney Morning Herald has a nice piece on the nature of practice, and the achievement of goals and excellence. While not focused entirely on music performance, the study covered a range of endeavours including chess, writing, and piano. One of the findings is that practice is not solely about repetition - there needs to be goal-setting, constant re-evaluation of progress, and a sense of self-motivation - the task needs to be driven internally for the skill to become "natural" and effortless.

Too obvious? Well, look at how most instruments are taught to our kids. Once a week practice sessions, the goals fixed for all students by the 8 Music Levels, dull Hannon scales. Certainly Suzuki would have something to say here!

Read about Deliberate Practice here.