19 Practice Strategies

Strategy Category Description
1 Repetition of Difficult Passages Coordination Over learn difficult passages by repeating them at least ten times or more.
2 Sings with Practice Vocalization Sing the melody to help with top voicing (emphasizes melodic line)
3 Metronome Usage Rhythmic Accuracy Use a metronome to ensure rhythmic evenness and rhythmic accuracy.
4 Count Rhythmic Passages Rhythmic Accuracy Counting rhythms aloud can assist with rhythmic accuracy.
5 Perform Passages Slowly Coordination Practice each section slowly until you can play it perfectly. Only after, increase tempo
6 Hands Separate Coordination Practice hands separate prior to hands together will allow time for your fingers to learn the technique and prepare you for coordinated movements
7 Clap or Tap Rhythmic Pattern Rhythmic Accuracy Clapping or tapping the rhythm in isolation can help with rhythmic accuracy
8 Challenging Passages First Coordination Always address challenging passages in the piece first.
9 Rhythm /Articulation Variations Rhythmic Accuracy Practice challenging scales and exercises containing patterns by varying rhythmic and articulations involved.
10 Listen to Recordings Other Listening can provide information on interpretation and style.
11 Power of the Mind Vocalization Mentally, go through the piece and study it before performing. Vocalize formal structures.
12 Short Focused Practice Other Two short practice sessions are often more focused than one long session
13 Small Steps First Other Break the music into smaller sections to remedy trouble areas.
14 Analyze Vocalization Analyze the music by examining repeated patterns or phrases that are similar. Read notes aloud and read formal structures aloud.
15 Record Practice Other Keep written records and electronically record your practice to ensure accountability.
16 Aim High Other Set specific and appropriate goals for each practice session.
17 Mistakes? Not Me! Other Always stop when you know that you have made a mistake. Go back to the difficult section and practice until correct.
18 Mental Imagery Other Set specific and appropriate goals for each practice session.
19 Accompaniment Other Always stop when you know that you have made a mistake. Go back to the difficult section and practice until correct.
These strategies are based upon the Practice Strategy Inventory (Smith, 2005).

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