Organizing Practice Sessions

Q: Marilynn,
I love your method book. I am currently finishing up a different book that is for beginners and plan to work with yours next. Just by reading through it, it has already helped me greatly with my tone. My biggest concern right now is: How do I organize my practice time. I am mostly self-taught. What is the best way to warm up? How much time should I spend on each of the four sections of your book? My practice times vary from 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on my schedule. Do you have any recommendations?
Thanks very much,
K

A: Glad the book is working for you! As for practice sessions, it’s a good idea to start off with scale exercises, then some work on right hand technique, followed by exercises to coordinate the two. That’s why I have the book set up as I do. If you only have 30 minutes you might just be able to get to the first 2 areas. But in a short session it’s important not to rush, start at a slow tempo to warm your hands up. In a longer session you can repeat your exercises several times, moving the tempo a bit faster, but not so fast that you make mistakes or hurt your arm. Finally, in a long session, you should end playing music you like, whether it’s from the 4th section of my book or other music you enjoy. And sometimes, when you only have a short time, just play music you love rather than working on exercises. That’s why we do all this work, isn’t it?

Posted December 12th, 2010. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
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