Tags: pedagogy, Practicing
Take time to practice slowly so that you can carefully put together all the elements of motion and music together correctly! Don’t sacrifice facility because you are feeling impatient to play more quickly! The slower and bigger the motion, the more the dramatic the impact will be on the brain.
Each time you act, you forge a neural pathway in your brain. It literally paves an electric path for impulses to travel on. Let’s say the first time you play a section in your piece, you play it correctly. You have established a “correct” neural path. Next, you play it incorrectly. That forges an “incorrect” neural path. The third time you play, the impulses in your brain are forced to choose between two equal paths!
The more you “choose the right path,” the more times you jump in that same neural direction, the bigger the path becomes. Think of it as making a new road in a new city. The first time you play something, it starts out as a barely recognizable path, in the middle of a field. Then you play it 10-20 more times. The path through the field becomes a dirt lane, easy to see, and easier to navigate. The more you repeat it, the bigger and better it becomes. When you’re ready for performance, it’s like a monorail on a superhighway, built just for you! You can play the music effortlessly, and sit back and enjoy the ride. You don’t have to plod through the big field anymore, or get dusty on the dirt road.
Hopefully, you are not someone who doesn’t pay attention to how or what they are playing. Forging paths all over the brain as a result of haphazard practice creates bedlam because of the barrage of choices! If you choose to practice this way, unfortunately, later you will have to practice much longer and much more carefully, to reestablish the correct neural pathway. It’s much simpler to practice correctly and carefully from the start. Use scientific information to your advantage when practicing!