If you’re a music major, then you probably have your own “art of practicing.” We all have our little rituals that we go through, – warming up, playing scales, getting frustrated at yourself so much that you want to flip a piano – but the one thing that we all have in common is this goal – to master the songs we are practicing. Here is my method that I use to practice!
- Finding a Practice Room – depending on what time of the day it is, it may be difficult to find a practice room right away. That’s because there are so many music majors that love to practice, especially when classes let out at specific times! But fear not! If you stalk the basement of The Massry Center long enough and keep poking your head in each door, eventually someone will get the hint and leave 🙂
(In all seriousness, try to practice at a time that isn’t so popular; then you won’t have any trouble finding a room!)
- Warm-Ups – Once you’ve gotten situated in a room, it’s time to get down to business! No matter what instrument you play or what voice part you sing, it is important to do warm ups!
As a vocalist, my practice time cannot be as long as most instrumentalists. This is because my instrument is my body; if I fatigue my body from too much practicing, then I cannot use my instrument to the best of it’s ability. SO that is why it’s important to do some effective warm ups that can exercise various parts of the voice (or instrument, whatever you play!) before you get to work on your repertoire. If you can pull a warm up from the music you are learning and utilize it to help you better learn your rep, then go for it!
- Working through songs – Now you’ve finally gotten to what you need to work on – your rep! For the singers out there, we have an extra task on top of memorizing the tune and learning the notes and rhythms – memorizing the words! Something that I like to do outside the practice room is write down my words over and over. This helps reinforce them in my brain for when I have to sing them. Utilizing other memorization strategizes like repetition and practicing a hard passage at a slow tempo and then speeding up can really help you learn your piece effectively and save you some frustration.
So get to it, musicians! Find a practice room and get to work! I know I will be, since my senior recital is in 2 1/2 weeks! (EEK!)