Back in 2019, teenager Eddie Cortez went viral for a letter that he wrote to his teacher, explaining why he didn’t do his homework. In that letter, he said, “I don’t want to do school work over the weekend because it’s a stress-free time to go out with friends, watch TV, play games. I don’t do it also because it makes me very mad and unhappy. I do what makes me happy because I want to be happy. Homework is not a real thing in the real world, so we should not have to do it in school because it’s not useful.” BAST Founder Line Hilton joins Alexa to discuss the excuses we encounter with our students about why they can’t practise their craft.
- The purpose of practice is to ingrain the motor skills used for a task through repetitions. These repetitions open up neural pathways and as we repeat these pathways get strengthened and the action becomes more automatic and you become more adept at the task.
- A quote from ‘Quality of Practice: A Musician’s Guide’ by Susan Williams says “Research on motor learning has discovered that the kinds of complex motor movements needed for making music are best learned unconsciously or implicitly. The mind can help this process by focusing on the intention: How do I want this to sound? What do I want to express? The centres of the brain concerned with motor control, which are not consciously controlled, will search for the solution.”
- Deliberate practice is purposeful, challenging, and feedback-driven learning. It’s goal-oriented, repetitive, focused, and mentally demanding, with structured, time-limited sessions, aimed at improving specific skills. Quantity alone doesn’t suffice; it’s the quality and structured approach that lead to expertise.
- Motivation to practice often arises from the sense of autonomy, where individuals feel in control of their choices, driven by their personal interests, passions, and the freedom to pursue their goals without external pressure. Autonomy in practice fosters intrinsic motivation and a deeper commitment to improvement.
‘Practise is just a way of reinforcing the thing we want to do’
‘Don’t stop at “it didn’t work”, ask yourself what do I need to do to make it work’
‘Having a specific strategy is needed for practice, just running the song through with no plan is not practice’
‘People aren’t motivated by what we think. People want autonomy’
Relevant Links & Mentions:
- Quality Practice: A Musician’s Guide by Susan Williams: hfm-detmold.de/fileadmin/lia_hfm_2014/pool/Netzwerk_MuHo_Williams_UEben_manual_EN.pdf
- Anders Ericsson and Deliberate Practice
- Drive by Daniel H. Pink
- Singer’s Voice Dampener: beltyafaceoff.com
- Mindy Pack and The Voice Straw: mindypack.com
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