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MUSICAL MINDS

A HARMONIOUS LEARNING BLOG FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS & PARENTS

The Pizza Parable: My Recipe for Excellent Practice


So what’s pizza got to do with practice?


Quite a lot actually…


You know, like when you're craving pizza, and instead of devouring the entire thing in one gulp, you savour each bite? Well, the same concept applies to practicing music.


The Pizza Parable


Ever find yourself in a rush, and instead of savouring each slice, you're faced with a whole, delicious pizza. You think, 'I'll just swallow it whole!' You do, but what's left? An empty box. Sure, you've eaten it, but was it satisfying? Did you truly enjoy the flavours? Probably not. It's the same with music practice.


Trying to play through an entire piece without breaking it down into bite-sized portions is a bit like our pizza adventure. It might seem like you're making progress, but in reality, you're missing out on the depth and satisfaction that comes with taking it one slice at a time. And guess what? Gulping down music like that won't do anything for your improvement.


So, what's the secret sauce to musical success when time is short? It's all about embracing the 'bite-sized practice' approach.


The Secret Sauce: Bite-Sized Practice


Breaking it Down


Like you, I have find myself in a position where I just 'practice' by playing the piece of music top to bottom.


Thing is, this is the same as eating your pizza in one go! I mean, would you ever try and eat your favourite meal in one giant gulp! Of course not! Well, the same goes for learning a new piece of music. Instead of bravely attempting to conquer the entire composition in one go (like eating a massive pizza in a single gulp), let's take a more delicious approach.


Think of it this way: when you slice up a pizza, you can savour each bite and fully appreciate the flavours. Similarly, when you break down your music into smaller sections – say, just one or two bars at a time – the magic happens. It's like indulging in each delectable slice of pizza.


Why is this approach so fantastic, you ask? Well, not only does it make your practice sessions way more manageable, but it also supercharges their effectiveness. So, get ready to cut that musical 'pizza' into digestible 'slices' and prepare to be amazed at the progress you'll make!


Focusing on Quality


when you practice in smaller sections, it's like zooming in on the details of your music. You can pour your energy into perfecting each note, mastering the rhythm, and nailing the dynamics. It's akin to savouring every bite of your favourite pizza topping – you not only enjoy it more, but it's also incredibly satisfying.


Just as you relish the unique flavours of each pizza topping, focusing on the nuances of your music makes the experience richer and more rewarding. So, dig into those musical 'toppings' one by one, and watch your skills flourish!


Consistency is Key


Now, here comes the secret sauce – consistency! Think of it like savouring a slice of pizza every now and then. Just as you wouldn't gobble down a whole pizza in one sitting, it's better to practice for 10 minutes every day than to cram in a musical marathon once a week.


Consistency is the secret recipe for musical progress. Just like enjoying that occasional pizza slice keeps your cravings satisfied, regular practice sessions keep your musical skills sharp and your progress steady. So, make it a habit to savour those bite-sized practice sessions more regularly, and you'll be amazed at how your musical journey unfolds!


Tracking Your Progress


Lastly, it's crucial to track your progress. Think of it as keeping a practice journal - just like jotting down your favourite pizza combinations. You can use a practice journal to record what you've practiced, what you've improved, and what still needs work. This way, you'll always know what musical 'toppings' work best for you.


Also, consider using a metronome to measure your tempo. It's like having a timer in the pizza oven to ensure your slice comes out perfectly. A metronome helps you play in time and steadily increase your speed.


If you want to make a real difference to your playing, I find recording yourself is another fantastic way to monitor your progress. It's like taking a snapshot of your pizza before and after baking to see how it's transformed. When you record your playing and listen back to it after a few weeks, you'll be amazed at the progress you've made. You'll notice where you've improved and where you can continue to refine your skills.


So, there you have it – the "Bite-Sized Practice" method. Remember, it's all about breaking things down, focusing on quality, staying consistent, and tracking your progress using tools like a practice journal, metronome, and recordings. Just like enjoying a delicious pizza one bite at a time, you'll savour every moment of your musical journey.


Brendan





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