Gerald Klickstein, the author and founder of The Musician’s Way, posted an interesting article recently about how to make practice more efficient. It’s a topic I’ve blogged about before, and it’s one I’ll write about again, because knowing how to practice is the only path musicians have to better playing. Given that it’s the only way, how can one say too much about it?
Klickstein offers four suggestions for improving practice: pinpoint goals, set a schedule, use targeted strategies, and pace yourself. Taken collectively, they look so simple. It’s easy for the best of us to forget them, however, and it’s essential for beginners to learn them. To help out both groups, Klickstein offers downloadable guides and checklists that make it easy to form good habits.
While efficient practice is important, it isn’t the be-all and end-all of musicianship. It is, according to Klickstein, taking “pleasure [in] the mastering process and bring[ing] soulfulness to every note you play or sing.”