How to Practice Effectively

One of the most important skills necessary for effective practicing is self-awareness. Without it, you lose the ability to monitor your level of focus during a practice session and run the risk of mindlessly going through the motions of what could have been a productive use of time.

Just like with meditation, when your attention drifts from the task at hand, it is imperative you realize your mind has wandered so you can then bring back into focus that which you set out to practice. It's worth mentioning that meditating will, in fact, aid in your ability to maintain a high level of concentration while practicing music.

Not sure how to meditate? Here's your six-sentence tutorial:

  1. Sit upright in a quiet place and focus all of your attention on your breathing.

  2. Now, because the experience of air moving in and out of your lungs isn't the most exciting thing in the world, there's a good chance your mind will wander and end up thinking about where to get lunch.

  3. Don't fret.

  4. The moment you realize your attention has strayed, simply refocus your awareness on your breath.

  5. That's all there is to it.

  6. Rinse and repeat for 10 minutes or more.

When you practice music after meditating, you may find yourself thinking about something completely unrelated to the exercise you're supposed to be perfecting. Again, don't despair. Be grateful you caught yourself drifting, and settle back into the present moment so you can resume practicing at full mental capacity.

Give it a try and comment below with any success stories, questions, or random thoughts that popped into your head while meditating and practicing.