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Practise your instrument

4 months ago

In a recent interview, pianist and ABRSM scholar Howard Tang revealed that he practises for four to five hours a day, and as a student at the Royal Academy of Music he has the opportunity to practice for up to six hours a day. Excellence and progression in music (and other fields) clearly require hard work and dedication but it can be daunting to know how to approach practising.

What does practising really involve?

As ABRSM’s Chief Examiner, John Holmes, suggests: ‘it is very tempting to think of practice as working on a particular piece, or a section of a piece. However, you should remember that every time you practise, you are actually working on your instrument.’

Too often practising can become connected to repeating the same pieces of music but this is a short term way of looking at practice. Practising is about familiarising yourself with your instrument as much as the music that you play.

John has some hints to guide your practice and ensure that you get to know your instrument better:

  • Make sure you start with a good warm up
  • Think about your posture
  • If applicable, be conscious of the way you ‘hold’ the instrument
  • Consider the sound and tone the instrument makes, without even looking at any music.

‘Think about you and the instrument, because it is only when you’ve got that relationship right and you’re making a good sound, that it is time to move on and work on the of music. Practise the instrument before you practise the music!’

Practise right with ABRSM Music Case. Music Case is a free practice tracking app helps you to organise and reflect on your practice, making practice time more effective. #Practiceimproved


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