8 Tips to Make the Most of Every Music Practice Session The Sherp June 24, 2020 Music How many times have we heard the adage ‘Practice makes a man perfect’? This cannot be truer when it comes to music. If you want to be a successful musician, prioritize music practice. In fact, practicing is 90% of the music process! So, how can you make the most out of these practice sessions? Let’s take a look. 8 Tips to a Successful Music Practice Warm-Up You need to warm up before every physical workout. Music practice is no different. Before your practice, take some time to prepare your mind and body for the session. Focus on how you are feeling, your breathing, if your body is holding any tension and why you are doing that particular music exercise that day. At the end of the practice, wrap up by preparing for the next session so that you are mentally prepared for it. Write down the goals for the next session at the end of your current one. Join a Music Class One way to get better at music is by constantly learning the craft. A few things that you can gain from music school is knowledge of harmony, composition skills, theory, ear training, to name a few. Moreover, music lessons expose you to things that you probably wouldn’t come across if you were learning on your own. Visualize the Practice Session As weird as it may sound, learning music without the instrument helps a lot. Visualize the part playing the instrument, the details of making the sounds, hear what you aim for, and see the music on sheets. Spend some time away from the instrument and just visualize. Focus on your breath, hold good posture, and imagine how you would begin playing the music. This activity can boost your mental performance in addition to physical performance. Make Clear Goals It is important to set music goals. Start every session with the end in mind – what would you like to accomplish in that particular session. Break down the goals into smaller objectives. As you strike out each of the small goals, you will feel a sense of accomplishment as you reach towards your main goal. Ensure the goals are realistic and reasonable. They will also help you track your progress and ensure you spend the practice time productively. Do Transcription Start transcribing the music that you listen to, such as jazz, classical, or any other genre of music. This practice allows you to develop a better musical ear. Marking the music with useful notes allows you to develop a better connection with music. If there are copies of sheet music, you can check yourself. You will also be able to make changes to the notes when you play it back. Record Your Practice Sessions Once you step out of the music room, sit down and listen to your practice sessions. It will help you identify issues that you may have missed during the practicing session. This habit will help you overcome problems and make you a better performer. Practice Scales Practicing scales is important as it will help your music in several ways. You will start thinking of music in keys, flats, sharps, and scales. You will become better at music composition, mixing, editing, and other aspects of music. Even if you don’t work with a specific instrument, practicing scales will make you a better musician. Embrace Repetition If you are seeking perfection in music, don’t run away from repetition. If you get something wrong, repeat it over and over again till you get it right. You probably may not get the entire music piece right the first time. So, break the large passages into smaller ones and repeat them till they become a part of your muscle memory. This will make your music and performance better. The Final Note Yes, you need to take your practice sessions and music lessons seriously but don’t forget to have fun. Music is a beautiful thing and if you are not enjoying what you are doing, it will reflect in your practice sessions and the overall performance. Author Bio: Reema Krishnan is a content creator at Acharyanet platform for Carnatic music learners where they can learn music from gurus through 400+ video lessons. Being a music enthusiast and a history buff herself, she is able to provide value for her readers and her content is well-received by musicians, music lovers, and music learners of all ages and at all stages. She loves to volunteer with music therapy groups and bakes up a storm in her free time.