Regular practice review at the beginning and end of your practice sessions ensures much faster progress. Many experiments have shown that reviewing activities 7 times over 10 days helps your brain learn much faster. This applies to everything you learn, not just playing an instrument! There is plenty of evidence to suggest people who learn musical instruments excel in other areas of education and life as well... maybe it isn’t just the playing... maybe it is because those who play a musical instrument recognise the importance of regular review and apply it to other areas of their life!
Look at the graph See the difference in the % recall with and without review. We can clearly see that regularly reviewing what we have previously learned makes a huge difference to our recall.
When I ask students about review at the start and end of their practice they often tell me that they don’t want to ‘waste time’ going over things they have already practiced. Actually they would save a huge amount of time by incorporating regular review into their practice sessions.
Make it a habit to review everything you have practiced during a session at the end of the session once your other targets for that session are achieved. Think of regular practice review as an important time saving device for the future... with regular review you do less practice for more progress. Now that is surely worth it.
Review again at the start of your next session as well for maximum benefit and efficient practice.
Make sure you don't rush your review. Play everything through once, a little slower than you achieved during your practice to ensure all notes are 100% correct. Pianists it is actually worth playing separate hands when reviewing pieces you have just put hands together. This helps ensure you are using the correct technique and also helps you learn quicker. More on the importance of separate hands practice in the upcoming piano practice section. Check back soon for this!
The most important review you will ever do is to practice the day of your lesson. No... not a panic practice five minutes before you have to leave because you didn’t organise your practice!
The most important time to practice is when you get home from your lesson.
Regular practice review following a lesson helps fix everything from the lesson clearly in your mind. Your understanding of techniques is heightened and your muscle memory develops much quicker. [LATER: As it says in Practice Makes Perfect: You can save up to 35% of your practice time during the week by practicing the day of your lesson!] So my advice? Plan a review session following your lesson. I guarantee you won’t regret it!
Frustrated with your practice? Read Practice Makes Perfect and hack the 10,000 hour rule. Cut your practice time by up to 25%! Make faster progress, learn pieces and scales faster, memorize more easily, and much more. "If you play an instrument you need this book!"
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