For More Perfect Practice, Try…Longer…Pauses

for more perfect practice, try...longer...pauses

In theory, piñatas are terrific fun.

I mean, what’s not to like? A hanging cornucopia of sweets, opened in spectacular fashion by smashing with a stick while blindfolded? Good times!

Of course, the reality of piñatas is never quite as exciting as one might hope.

First off, there are tons of complete misses, glancing blows, and weak hits. Then the older siblings get into the act, but to no avail.

Use the “Reverse” Zeigarnik Effect to Start Each Day of Practice Feeling Mentally Refreshed

Use the “reverse” Ziegarnik Effect to Start Each Day of Practice Feeling Mentally Refreshed

No pain, no gain! Feel the burn!

You may recognize these as popular exercise mottos from the 80’s. And maybe still in some circles today.

But it’s become increasingly common knowledge among athletes from NBA basketball players to bodybuilders and powerlifters, that rest and recovery is an essential ingredient for effective training and maximal performance.

As Olympic marathoner Keith Brantley once said, “Any idiot can train himself into the ground. The trick is working in training to get gradually stronger.”
The importance of detaching
Part of effective recovery is quality sleep. Part of it is nutrition.

What Comes First – the Notes or the Music? A Chicken/Egg Problem in the Practice Room.

What Comes First the Notes or the Music? A Chicken/Egg Problem for the Practice Room.

Once upon a time, my teacher put a few strips of colored tape on the fingerboard of my little 1/16th sized violin.

A well-intentioned move, but one which led to some mother-son conflict in the ensuing week of practice. My mom noticed that I kept putting my finger slightly off the line of tape. My mom got increasingly frustrated, insisting that I put my finger ON THE TAPE. But, stubborn little kid I was, apparently I didn’t budge, saying that it wasn’t the right place.

So, my mom asked my teacher about this at my next lesson.