The Problem with “Perfect” Practice

Mistakes aren’t all bad.
Don’t be afraid to make them –
just don’t ignore them!
(Why the haiku? TMQ)

We know that practice doesn’t make perfect.

(And while we’re on the subject, we might as well admit to ourselves that 100% flawlessness is impossible, and that most of us don’t have what it takes to be a true perfectionist anyhow.)

So that leaves us with a phrase often used in place of the classic aphorism “Practice makes perfect” – namely, “Practice does not make perfect.

A Secret Trick That Will Improve Your Intonation by 212%

intonation secret

Want to improve your intonation by 212% in the next week? Use this simple, but little-known trick to eliminate mistakes in even the most difficult passages.

Did the title lure you in? Couldn’t help it, right? Hey, I would have clicked on the link too. Sorry for pulling such a sneaky little trick!

My point is that we live in a culture that has led us to become fixated on instant gratification and the quick-fix.

Practicing with the TV for Laser-like Focus

Practicing with the TV for Laser-like Focus

The date is Saturday, February 23, 1991. Violinist Isaac Stern is in the midst of performing a Mozart concerto with the Israel Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta conducting, only to be interrupted by air raid sirens signaling a Scud missile attack.

The orchestra leaves the stage to put on protective gear; the audience remain in their seats wearing gas masks. Stern returns to the stage sans gas mask, and proceeds to play the Sarabande from Bach’s D minor Partita.

Most of us will never perform under conditions like this, but for a moment, just imagine.

Nine Sources of Frustration in the Practice Room

nine sources of frustration in the practice room

Have you ever finished a practice session and left the room wondering if you just wasted an hour of your life? Feeling that you put in the time, but are not sure what (if anything) you have to show for it?

One of the primary factors that can dictate how efficient and effective our practice sessions are is concentration (or the lack thereof).

Remember from this article that that the key to mastery is deliberate practice. And the key ingredient in deliberate practice is one’s ability to think clearly and purposefully.

What Beautiful Lawns and Practicing Have in Common

What Beautiful Lawns and Practicing Have in Common

I’ve been told that there are two basic strategies for cultivating a weed-free lawn. The obvious method is to go around with a bottle of weed killer and kill all the weeds you can find. Of course, what you get then is a bunch of dead brown spots with little patches of sad-looking grass filling in the gaps.

The other method involves working to encourage the grass to grow healthier, stronger, and thicker, which eventually will crowd out the weeds and leave less room for them to grow.