How a practice session should be?
I feel very stuck and unproductive with my practice and very lost!
What should a practice session look like? Eg repertoire and scales
Would also love to know how everyone practices scales without getting so bored!
"Would also love to know how everyone practices scales without getting so bored!"
I don't agree entirely with Peter that scales are only for intonation and fingerboard mastery, although they are essential for those purposes. My teacher showed me how to focus also on changing strings smoothly (because I am weak on that), and this is covered in Simon Fischer's book "Scales" too.
Of course it goes without saying that all those other aspects should be covered as well. (Including tone production).
Yes! Tone production too!! Yeah I guess the string change issue is kind of obvious but I only mentioned it because that was (and still is) where I seem to need work, more than other students at approximately the same level. That's the thing ... find out where
hi Alison, if you find scales boring, do them every practice session, but for a limited time that you plan in advance, e.g. 15 minutes. During that time pick a key and pick a number in the Flesch scale system, then work only on that number (or perhaps two numbers). like Peter said, be super critical and try to get it as right as possible. since you are doing only one key and one single number, you should get the notes and fingering quickly and then continue practicing by heart, so without looking at the page. I find that improves concentration. Those 15 minutes will be over in no time!
No one knows Alison's level, so it's hard to say what she should do with scales.
From years of practicing with kids with varying levels of motivation, I highly suggest splitting up your practicing into small chunks. My youngest does 15-20 minutes of scales, etudes, and review in the morning, and 30-40 minutes of technique and repertoire in the afternoon. Both chunks are manageable because they are short. It would be overwhelming--and likely boring--if all done at once.
I somewhat disagree with Scott's statement that people who are successful in any field are those that have a high tolerance for boring tasks. I think that highly successful people can manage to cope with tedious tasks when necessary, but they actively strive to reduce the number of boring things that they have to do, and/or minimize the tedium and time spent doing them.
"No one knows Alison's level" she told us earlier that she was accepted at three conservatories.
I think for players at that kind of conservatory level, it's important to have clear practice goals in mind. That holds as true for scales as it does for anything else. If you're already playing at a very high level, one has to be aware of what incremental refinements are desired. I would suggest that anything that has become mindlessly tedious should be replaced with something that requires an alert brain.
A thumbs up to the first comment of Paul Deck. There are tons of thing to do to the same scale: combinations of dynamics, mix of bowings, adding a double stop here or there...
"how a practice session should be"?
My practicing looks like this when things work out how they're supposed to, but my schedule is always all over the place so it's usually either less or broken up.
Regarding boring / tedious tasks, I agree with Lydia that we strive to minimize them, but sometimes, there they are, and you've got to do them. Professionalism means, at least in part, doing those parts of your job well that are necessary but not your favorite activity.
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