I just returned from visiting my family in Florida. What a great trip! While we were there, Sarah and I looked through some old photographs of me from when I was a child and came across some old awards and certificates. One of my certificates reads “Award for Excellence in Piano Practice, December 18, 1989!” It also contains a saying that my first piano teacher drove into my head as a child: “Perfect practice makes perfect,” an important variation on the well-known saying.
If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts about the book Peak, you know that the topic of practice is important to me. The author, Anders Ericsson, coined the term “deliberate practice” to describe the kinds of techniques that people use to increase their ability at a certain skill. One distinction between deliberate practice and less perfect types of practice is that it is goal-oriented rather than time-oriented. This is why all of my lesson agenda items culminate in a “practice goal.” An example of a practice goal might be to play a preview spot five times every day with correct notes, fingering, and rhythm.
In order to help our students and parents toward their goal of “perfect” or deliberate practice, we've created a Lahan Music Studio YouTube channel. These videos will include model performances, listening assignments and step-by-step demonstrations. They will be clearly titled and easy to find through our website. We hope that you find these videos helpful in your practice time!