Not just a space for 'news', but for any interesting/useful stuff (aka 'blog')...

Learning to practise and enjoy it

Here are a couple of links I’ve shown to some of my senior pupils to reinforce some of that stuff I’m always trying to get you to see. You know, like learning to break things down into tiny chunks, deconstruct them further, fix them, put them back together and feel empowered by the process when you discover that what you thought was boring (lots of slow, slow, careful, good-habit-forming practice of tiny bits) is actually the key to moving on and being able to play more and better.

So here’s the first. It’s a blog post from a few days ago and describes the routines of a young cellist auditioning for one of the world’s great music schools, but is equally applicable to any genre of music and came to my attention via a friend who’s a professional whistle/flute player and singer of Irish trad…

What it’s like to audition at Juilliard. When you’re 11.

[Same thing posted to ‘Business Insider’]

Now of course I hope that you’ll all (my senior pupils) read that for yourselves, but have to highlight some lines for you anyway. Like:

take pleasure in completing each part


combined with the ability to take joy in the process itself

Which, taken in the context of the article and what I’ve said in the first paragraph above, I think you should find helpful, encouraging and perhaps even inspiring once you’ve got past (or better taken on board) an element of ‘heard it all before’ (from me)!

The other link, which I first saw a few months ago, is a short TED video (with commentary, so you need sound) I’ll just leave to speak for itself…

How to practice effectively… for just about anything

So perhaps it’ll take you five minutes to read the first article and five minutes to watch the video, but you’ll surely be more than repaid by the sheer food for thought with ideas that could make a big difference to how you use your time now and for ever. Really! :-)