Monday, June 4, 2007

Chris Foley's "10-minute Practice Blocks"

Chris Foley (over at "The Collaborative Piano Blog") posted a wonderful list of ways to use 10-minute blocks of practice time in an effective and efficient way. Since I've always been a big fan of short, multiple practice sessions (rather than one long one) on any given day, this is a must-read for anyone who struggles with making the most of practice time.

For those not familiar with the idea of "breaking up" practice time, here's an example:

Your teacher wants you to do 45 minutes of practice each day.
When you do one straight session of 45 minutes, you know that you risk some loss of concentration/commitment during the last fifteen minutes. The solution: Practice 30 minutes, then take a break. Later, do the rest of your practice (15 minutes) after you feel more refreshed (for example, after a meal or some kind of outside activity).

But another solution might be to do TWO 10-minute sessions, and use Chris's list as a way to organize your practice goals. That way, you get in two distinct practice "spurts". You might just accomplish a little more than usual.

Another positive aspect of this kind of practice: When you limit yourself to a 10-minute session, you could also be limiting bad practice. If you tend to practice too fast, or repeat the same mistakes over and over, the time limit will help keep you from going overboard with your worst habits. If you follow Chris's list carefully, you might also be able to REVERSE some of those bad habits. 

I hope that everyone who studies piano (at any level) takes a good look at this important idea and experiments with it. You might not know what you're missing, and more productive practice for the time investment could be yours.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Justin. I’ve read that this sort of thing is easily found. It took me a lot of searching. Easy to do, unless you have to do it by the manual. english diploma | online marketing degree