Practice Habits After Your Cello Lessons
The cello is considered the most versatile of the viola family: not too big like the double bass, and not too small like the violin, or even the viola. Its deep and rich sound, combined with its versatility and power, make it one of the most graceful and classy stringed instrument. No wonder cello lessons have become a very popular choice among budding musicians.
But once you start on the lessons, and after the course is finished, it is imperative that you continue to practice on your own, even without your teacher guiding you. Be more productive by following these simple suggestions:
• Prepare before you practice
It is important that when you do your practice session, there are no distractions and the place has very minimal noise. If you do not intend to watch demo lessons, there should be no TV, Internet, or even radio or any music player within your space. Your phone should also be in silent mode, if not turned off altogether.
Take your restroom break before starting. Take a light snack before practice, and bring water with you in the room. Playing the cello, or any musical instrument for that matter, is a very physically challenging interest, you are going to need the energy.
• Plan your time
Decide beforehand how long you are going in that room to practice, and that includes scheduling the time you will start and finish. If you have planned this, it is imperative you stick with the schedule. Quitting earlier short-changes your skills development, and extending beyond the time will just tire you and probably even slow you down.
• Set your goals
Do not go into practice “blindly,” or just practice for the sake of practicing. There should be a reason, a purpose, a goal, for each session you do. Maybe you can analyze where your weaknesses are, areas where you need improvement or correction, and make those your goals for a particular session. Maybe you want to perfect a certain song and desire to achieve performance level. You may just want to perfect a certain playing skill. Whatever it is, focus on that goal in your cello lessons. Singapore cello teachers make it a point to set goals for their students during the first lesson.
• Record the way you play
Sometimes the best way to spot your problem areas is to take a step back, and listen as an “outsider.” A good way to do this is to record your sessions and listen to them at another time. Listen and critique yourself, or better yet pretend that somebody else was playing and try to find holes in the performance. This will make you an objective listener and will allow you to spot the areas of improvement that you may have missed while you were playing.
• Have fun
It can get physically draining sometimes, and one way for you to sustain your physical energy is to have fun while practicing. The feeling of accomplishment is much more satisfying when you continually to be in a good mood, despite setbacks that you may encounter.
Your cello lessons are just a start, and it will take a lot more effort on your part over time to get to the playing level you want. But with good and consistent practice, you will soon find the joy and fulfillment that will carry you through lots of years of cello playing!