Elana Segal's Music Studio

Music Practice 101

Monday, January 1, 2024 by Elana Segal | Music Lessons

Practicing your instrument everyday is essential to seeing progress. 

  • It is important to spend quality time reviewing your lesson material on your own between lessons. 
  • Avoid playing through your assignments from beginning to end without stopping. Focus on practicing your assignments in small sections with lots of repetitions. 
  • Musicians cannot cram for their lessons, recitals or performances. Having a daily  practice routine needs  to be in place to maintain your instrumental skills.

Tips to improve your musical success:

  • Be consistent, schedule routine daily practice
  • Always use a metronome to keep a steady beat
  • Practice slow and steady
  • Mark any mistakes in pencil
  • Chunking: take small sections (called measures) and repeat until you can’t make a mistake
  • Keep a practice log/journal
  • Listen to lots of music!
  • Clean and take care of your instrument regularly

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Did I balance all of my assignments or only focus on one thing?
  2. Could I repeat each measure at least 3 times in a row with no mistakes?
  3. Did I play through my assignments and ignore errors, or practice properly?
  4. Did I play all notes and rhythms correctly, in tune and in tempo?
  5. Did I incorporate the dynamics, articulation and other markings in the score?
  6. Am I happy with my progress today?
  7. What do I need to keep working on in my next practice session?

Daily Practice Routine Example:

  1. Warmup: SLOW Long tones, focus on posture, air support, intonation, etc.

  2. Scales: Play slow+fast with various articulations, always with metronome

  3. Technique: Method book assignment, use metronome

  4. Solo Repertoire: see lesson notes, focus on musical expression

  5. Other: Band music assignments, music you want to play/review