Sunday, May 18, 2014

Personal Improvement - Practicing

As a musician, composer, and music teacher I know a few things about practicing. I can tell you that I have practiced so many hours I have lost count over the last 38 years. But why practice at all? You practice because it is the only way to become good at something. Do you want to play an instrument well? Practice. Do you want to play a sport well? Practice. Do you want to be able to draw, paint, sculpt, write, or do any other artistic endeavor well? Practice. Do you want to be a better programer, lawyer, negotiator, sales person, presenter, surgeon, or any other professional? Practice. Practice is the key to being good at anything.

So how do you practice? Here are so suggestions:

*  Figure out what skill you want to improve.
*  Break it down into small chunks or steps.
*  Do each step over and over for 15-30 minutes.
*  Do each step slowly at first and make sure you do it right (don't practice mistakes).
*  Once you can do one step move on to the next, then start combining steps.
*  Work harder on the steps that you can't do (don't just practice the things you can do).
*  Practice every day without fail.
*  To be good at something practice at least 15-30 minutes a day.
*  To be a professional at something practice 4-6 hours a day for 10 years.
*  Get feed back (get a coach, a teacher, a mentor, or an audience).

There are no short cuts. There are no magic formulas. There is no other way. Practice, practice, and practice. That's how you not only learn a new skill, that's how you master one.

What do you think?