Learning to play the violin involves long hours of training. Every violin student understands that the total amount of practice you put in will equal how great a violinist you can become. For violin teachers, they also urge their students to practice as much as possible since the practicing amount of weekly violin lessons is not enough. However, just spending every second practicing cannot make you a professional violinist. Apart from practice itself, what should also be considered is how to practice effectively. In the text below, we will introduce several ways to make your practice more effective.
First of all, almost every violinist knows the importance of deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is difficult, but worth it. Deliberate means when you practice, you need to center all your thoughts on practice itself for the entire time. The tips we will discuss below share the common core of deliberate practice.
Although you may have your own individual regimen like other violin players do, you can still develop your own deliberate practice style and begin to see remarkable results by incorporating these practice habits and visualization techniques.
Without a clear and attainable goal, making progress can be incredibly difficult. For example, instead of concentrating on the violin fingering that you are doing wrong, you are supposed to focus your mind on how it should be like when it is done properly. It can help if you watch a close-up of a virtuoso performing the same piece. It is important to create realistic images of how it will feel and sound when the piece is performed perfectly. By outlining the practicing goal, violin students are able to focus on the outcome desired, rather than a current limitation.
The place where you practice has a direct influence on how effective you will be able to learn. Essentially, you are practicing to get improved. If your mind is able to wander easily or there are a lot of distractions nearby, deliberate practice is going to be difficult.
The place you practice after violin lessons should be organized to support total concentration. It is hard to focus on practice itself if you are being constantly interrupted by texts, phone calls, or other objects which may be distracting.
Find a quiet room and make sure that the notifications of your mobile devices are off. It will also help if you situate your music stand in an area that offers few visual distractions. What’s more, you can conduct your practice near a mirror to assist the visualization process.
Rather than play the same and incorrect passage over and over again, you should use problem-solving strategies to fix your violin bow technique, fingering issues, or problems with violin notes. The best way to create deliberate practice is to slow down and play softly. Research has shown that sensory perception is heightened when sounds are faint, which makes it easier to detect slight alterations in pitch and vibrato.
Moreover, by reducing your tempo, you give yourself time to process the information. Some violin students may have forgotten how beneficial it is to play at an extremely reduced tempo. Reducing the tempo at first can help ensure that your arms and fingers execute correctly, then you can gradually pick up the pace.
Set a time slot specially for violin practice and try to form a habit to practice at that time every day. When you have a designated practice time, you are less likely to make excuses or skip deliberate practice.
Violin apps are helpful tools in daily practice after violin lessons. Violin teachers cannot supervise their students’ daily practice at any time after weekly violin lessons. But a violin app can. Try Violy app for example, which is a smart mobile app using AI technology to analyze violin practice statistically.
Tuning is a must-do step before playing your instrument. It can also make your practicing effective, since you would not be bothered by higher or lower pitch when playing if all your strings are tuned in advance. There are a variety of violin tuner apps, and Simply Tuner is a good one.
It can be annoying when you are about to practice but cannot find the piece you need to play. Therefore, always keep your sheet music together and sort it into alphabetical order, or you can sort it according to your own preference, just make sure you can find the piece you need at any time.
Have a pencil within reach so that you can mark your violin sheet music with helpful reminders. It is normal to make mistakes during practicing, so you need to mark them in case you play the wrong notes next time. Besides, sometimes you may find it enjoyable playing certain bars on sheet music, so you can mark those bars for afterwards performing.
Good posture is not only essential to helping you play better, it is also important to preventing injury. Using a music stand can definitely help you form a proper posture for violin practice.
What matters more is how you practice, instead of how much you practice. You can make real strides in your playing by making an effort to “deliberately” practice. Just apply all these tips mentioned above for a long term and you will be amazed at your progress.
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