How Using Social Media Apps Before Practicing Could Sabotage Practice Quality (and Performance) Over Time

How Using Social Media Apps Before Practicing Could Sabotage Practice Quality (and Performance) Over Time

I attend a martial arts class where the rule is that phones must stay in the locker room, and never be out near the mats. The rationale being, they’re a distraction. And if you’re distracted, not only does your training suffer, but you can get hurt.

The idea is to come to class a little early, and spend those minutes getting warmed up, stretching, and transitioning away from work, family, social media, and whatever else is happening in life, so you can be 100% present and focused on training.

All of this makes perfect sense, of course, but is this really that big of a deal? Like, is social media really as distracting or detrimental to our learning and performance as teachers and coaches often make it out to be? I mean, how different is engaging in a little WhatsApp and Instagram-based socializing from socializing in person with our classmates before class?

Minna Chung: On the Mysteries of Intonation and a Few Things We Can Do to Play More in Tune

Minna Chung: On the Mysteries of Intonation and a Few Things We Can Do to Play Better in Tune

Like most Suzuki youngsters, I went through a phase where I had little stripes of tape placed on my fingerboard to guide where my fingers ought to go. Which I’m guessing was my first lesson on intonation, and the idea that there’s a precise place on the fingerboard, where if you put your finger right there, all is good in the world because the resulting sound that comes out of your instrument rings, and just sounds right.

Of course, the rebellious part of me resented those lines, and I remember getting into an argument with my mom one day because she said I wasn’t putting my fingers square on the lines, and I insisted that the lines must not be in the right place because it didn’t sound right. Of course, years later, as my repertoire grew more difficult, and intonation became more of a challenge, there were many a day when I wished there had been frets on my fingerboard to help guide my fingers (even though, as you’ll learn in today’s episode, that actually would have made things harder, not easier).

In any case, if you’ve ever struggled with intonation, or got into an argument about intonation with your quartet while tuning chords, or diligently practiced with a piano or electronic tuner or drone and were still told that your intonation needed work, today’s episode is for you. =)