More Effective Practicing
Posted November 14, 2013on:
My complaint about the performing arts has always been that they require an enormous amount of practice time in proportion to the actual amount of performance time. Enter this article on increasing practice time productivity by 50%!
The run down: If we sit down to practice with, say, 3 excerpts of music, we tend to practice the first except over and over for the first portion of time (say, 10 minutes). Then we go to the second, and spend the last portion of time on the third. The pattern is aaaaaaaa, bbbbbbb, ccccccc. This seems most efficient to us. The research says otherwise, though, indicating that alternating through the excerpts is more effective in the long run, which means our practice pattern ought to be abc, abc, abc, abc, or something even more random. We will still end up practicing each excerpt the same number of times, but we will have forced our brain to pay better attention to each repetition.