How To Practice Efficiently
25 februari 2022 
in How To

How To Practice Efficiently

How To Practice Efficiently

This might be the most important blog I wrote, because it will save you TONS of time and give you much better results.
Who doesn't want that?

We live in a rocket society, that's what I call it. 🚀
Everything should be done quickly, results should show immediately.

Learning how to play an instrument will never work this way, it's a craft which takes time to master.
A process which takes time.

To realise that is the best mindset to start from: take your time and enjoy every little step you're taking, every achievement you make, no matter how small. 🏆
That is what I call progress.

So, how did I start this blog?
Achieving results the fast and best way?
Yes, I did, let me show you what I mean:

The Study System 

Let's start with an example, we'll assume you are going to start learning a Minuet by J.S. Bach.

Let's assume you don't know the piece so you see this for the very first time.

I will break it down into 10 steps you should take and for this example I will use exercise 65 in lesson 14 of the Creative Violin Beginners Course.
These video lessons are ideal for this system.
Here we go:

- Step 1: Listen to the video while you just read along (without violin). Do this a few times until you can follow it completely. You will now know how the song goes, which will make correct study a lot easier.
- Step 2: Quit the video, take you violin and cut out ONLY the first 2 bars. Start with finding the notes on violin, do this as slow as possible, so that you mind can "process the data". Every "hick-up" you make tells you you're playing too fast. Slow is the keyword.
- Step 3: Play the first 2 bars in the correct rhythm and see to it that you also have the correct bowing. (Still playing it extremely slow!)
- Step 4: If you play without mistakes you can gradually add some tempo, just till you start making mistakes again. That will be your new study tempo, only for the first 2 bars right? We do not look any further yet!
- Step 5: Don't worry if you are not yet at the video tempo, that will come. It is now time to move to bar 3 and 4. (So don't repeat the first 2 bars for now). Repeat steps 1-4 for bar 3 and 4.
- Step 6: "Glue" bars 1-4 together, and start this in a slow tempo again.
- Step 7: Time for bar 5 and 6.... same procedure. Keep in mind that a study day could consist of doing only 4 (or 6 or 8) bars, not the whole piece. If you left off at bar 8, start with  the next 2 bars the next day. Perfect!!
- Step 8: If you managed to get the notes right of the whole piece (maybe in day 3, or 4?) then it is time to start building up the tempo. The video will always be in a tempo you should manage at this level.
- Step 9: Play along with the video and start to improve details as intonation, dynamics, pauses (where to "breath"), bow-management...
- Step 10: Download the backing-track (= accompaniment) and play along with that, you are the soloist now!

It is now time to play your house concert and amaze friends and family! 

The Video

About the author
My name is Xander Nichting, violinist (Classical / Modern), composer, arranger and teacher. I am author of the new violin method Creative Violin, from which I am teaching for about 4 years at this time. I am absolutely thrilled to see teachers all over the world starting to teach from this method because of its versatility. With this method and my online community I inspire students of all ages, 6-80+, to follow their dream and getting much joy from playing violin. Get creative, change your life is my motto. Playing violin does just that!
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