Why there is no such thing as "practice"

Updated: Aug 26, 2019


When I was a music student I would practice for hours and hours in a certain way. Then I would be surprised when I did not play better at my concerts.

My concerts just weren't as good as I wanted them to be.

I was putting in the effort and the time, so why wasn't I getting any better?

Now I know why, and it is very simple:

You play the way you practice.

Again. You PLAY the way you PRACTICE.

Some people believe that practice is different from playing. It is not.

What happens on stage will be exactly the same as what happens in the practice room. Maybe even slightly worse, if you get affected by nerves.

You cant practice in a certain way and expect to play better in front of an audience.

The solution?

To practice the way you WANT to play at a concert.

That means play with good sound, always. Even the scales.

Do your best to play in tune, always. Play rythmically, always.

Because the way you play in front of people mirrors the way you play in the practice room.

You cant cut corners and think you can come back tomorrow to do the actual work. You have to do the work now. Use every second of your practice to practice deliberately. There is only now in the world of practice.

Make sure your practice routine is as good as it can be. And most importantly, see how secure you can feel while practicing. Do everything in your power to feel safe and secure while playing. This will have an impact on your performances.

There really is no such thing as practice. Practice the way you want to play, and see your playing improve. Play deliberately, and enjoy. It is a reason it is called "play".

Happy practicing!

Best wishes from

Ragnhild



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@2020 by Ragnhild Sannes, photos by: Ada Miko/Benjamin Bargård/Arne Kleiva/Oda Hveem