Previously, the suggestion was for you to spend (insert number) minutes on each goal. I’ve been thinking on this lately, and there’s another way.
As I explained in the most recent CG Blog Newsletter, effeciency is vital in the practice room. And one of the most effective ways to be efficient is to manage repetition.
A good way to manage reptition is to set limits. Decide to only practice a given passage (insert number) of times.
This is the heart of task oriented practice schedules.
Make a To-Do List
When practicing, keep a pencil and pad of paper near by. Write down stuff that you feel will help work out problems in the next practice session. Those tasks become your daily goals–things to accomplish next time.
Making a task oriented practice schedule revolves around dealing with those tasks and managing their repetition in such as way that you (1) get better and (2) don’t spend all day practicing — there are other things to do.
To that end, your task oriented practice schedule should resemble a to do list.
- Practice measure 4 thru 6, with rhythmic alteration, 7 times
- Run measure 8 seven times very slow
Notice that each thing on the to do list includes three things:
- A specific portion of a piece to practice — getting things done in the practice room is about zeroing in on small sections
- A specific practice method or idea — slow practice, rhythmic alteration, slow/fast alternation, chaining
- A repetition limit
After working through each practice item on your list, it’s time to stop, or, if you have more time, you could try other practice methods or repeating the list.
Notice that no time limits are mentioned anywhere in this article. They aren’t needed. This sort of method is a great way to spice up your practice schedule if you find yourself watching the clock.