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Printer-friendly version weekend vote: Which way best describes the way you practice: blocked, serial or random?

The Weekend Vote

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Published: June 20, 2014 at 7:33 PM [UTC]

This week we shared some great ideas about practicing methods from two speakers at the Primrose viola competition and festival.

Among the more radical of the ideas was that random practice produces better performance results than does blocked practice. That is, really mixing up what you practice will prepare you better for performance than will the kind of concentrated practice, in which you devote a long chunk of time to one task. The "random practice" notion was somewhat new to me, so I wondered, do many people already practice this way?

Which way best describes the way you practice?

Blocked practice: Practicing each item for one good, solid chunk of time
Serial practice: Practicing in chunks of time, but mixing it up a little so that you hit each task several times throughout the session.
Random practice: Mixing it up a lot; changing tasks very frequently.

From Seraphim Protos
Posted on June 20, 2014 at 9:30 PM

I'm supposed to practice????

From Anne Horvath
Posted on June 20, 2014 at 10:34 PM
I do all three, depending on various needs, circumstances, and moods.

"All of the above"

Posted on June 20, 2014 at 10:50 PM
I used to do blocked most, but after reading the info on practicing I have now switched to random, which is much more fun and inspiring for me.
From Peter Charles
Posted on June 25, 2014 at 1:56 PM
This is an interesting topic. I think that random practice is probably the best - although it might not suit everyone. I would add to this technique the imortance, in my opinion, of also doing some improvisation. This promotes freedom and allows one to treat the whole fingerboard as one position, rather than a series of positions, and it also promotes ear training, as well as tone production.

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