Every student knows the treaded moment too well when they enter their lesson knowing those words that are about to leave their teachers mouth “have you practiced” and having to disappoint them. It’s difficult in this day and age to balance and keep up with all our commitments whether it’s to do with school, work or other hobbies and don’t worry your music teachers are aware. However practicing your instrument is essential to your learning and shouldn’t be any less of a priority compared to your other tasks.
The plain simple truth is that no matter how talented you are you can never become a great musician without practice. Yes there are many naturally talented individuals who will pick up music far quicker than others but they will never amount to much with practice. In fact many of the best musicians weren’t born with talent but put in hard work from day one to become the musicians they are today. This never really stops professional musicians will tend to practice around four to eight hours everyday to ensure the keep improving and maintain strength in their instrument.
The question is do I need to do the same as a student and the answer is no. While many child prodigies will practice for around 4 hours a day no music teacher will say this is a requirement. Most students will see a vast improvement if they simply put in five to 20 minutes of practice everyday. Smaller practice sessions that occur everyday allow your brain to retain cognitive memory more affectively. This will make the lessons more enjoyable because you can get geared up to show your teacher how much you’ve improved since the previous lesson.
Many people don’t understand that the lessons are not a time to practice but a time to gain a professional perspective through a musical ear. A really easy comparison is if you have a literature lesson where you are studying a book. It’s a waste of time to read the book in the lesson because you can do this independently. However coming to a lesson after reading a few chapters allows you to discuss theories and literature concepts with a teacher who is an expert in the topic. The same goes when you are learning a musical instrument, learning a piece of music is for you to do independently so you can master the fingering and understanding of how the melody goes. The lesson is the opportunity for your teacher to improve your musical methods and show you new techniques that they will know from years of experience. Also the teacher can make sure you haven’t missed out any key aspects of the piece such as dynamics, style, use of enhancements (eg pedal in piano) etc.
So next time your teacher asks you to practice try and spend at least 5 minutes each day that falls in between your next lesson. You may be surprised at the results and feel proud of your new improvements
To connect with Soundskool:
Phnom Penh Norodom (street 178, Sisowath High School)
+855 023 211 416
Phnom Penh Toul Tom Pong (corner streets 135/456)
+855 023 220 350
Siem Reap Wat Bo (Aqua Residence)
+855 063 766 706
email@example.com (for all musical instruments enquiries)