Practice is the Silver Bullet

If you can learn how to practice, you can learn anything. The not-so-secret real skill-building goal in all of my private lessons is: learn how to practice.

Every lesson should contain a discussion of practice. My first lesson with a new student is about 50% getting-to-know-you and 50% How To Practice And Why. We start there so there is a baseline establishing the importance of practice.

Don’t skimp on this. Talk about it, often. Give a practice trick or tool with every lesson, expect practice logs, expect regular practice.

Musicianship is important, but I know that not all of my students are going to pursue careers: they don’t need the musical skills as much as they need the human skills. Learning how to practice is applicable for every single career, and those of us lucky enough to teach music students one-on-one every day should make it a core part of our teaching.