How To Practice Music? A Checklist For Music Students

practice checklist for music students

Let's be honest, not many of us will head home to practice on our own right after a music class. This is could largely due to our busy schedules or there are days we are just tired. While we strongly encourage practicing after class hours, these are some key points that you can start with. Practicing doesn't have to be a chore, you can always start casually. Make it fun for yourself. Afterall, music is meant to be enjoyable!

So you will find many lists, in tutors and methods, of important points to remember while practising your music. But we have kept it short and sweet for you.

Here are those that are fundamental whatever your instrument (e.g. Guitar, Bass, Piano, Singing, Ukulele, Drums) to adhere to them as closely as you can but of course, your teachers will always be there to assist and monitor closely.

1) Check for good posture - the way you stand or sit and the way you hold your instrument e.g. guitar, drums sticks, bass guitar, finger position on the piano. If you can, you may use a mirror.

2) Always aim for a beautiful tone quality when we are practicing

3) Listen to your tuning

4) Listen carefully and critically to everything you play.

5) If you make a mistaken, correct it immediately. Don't simply go back to the beginning for another 'run up'.

6) Check that you are observing all the markings on the music (dynamics, articulation and phrasing etc) during practice.

7) Is the rhythm correct? Use a metronome from time to time.

8) Practice playing slowly rather than quickly. Remember to always focus on quality over speed.

9) Are you thinking about the character of the music and ways of communicating your musical ideas to your audience?

10) Occasionally 'perform' during practice - no stopping, come what may. Don't be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes.

11) Always try to imagine what your teacher would say - and act on it!

12) Occasionally try studying the music away from your instrument - hear it 'in your head', think about fingerings, analyse the structure and so on.

Beyond practice tips, we are continuously building our catalogue of articles that you will find useful! Read them here

Article source: The Music Teacher's Companion: A practical guide by Paul Harris