The Practice Method
Yes, we want methods, drills, ideas, techniques just for practice! Efficient and effective practice is the key to excellent progress. This week I will be sharing with you a wonderfully effective method to apply to your practice. For more on practice read this post, which introduces the Practice Pointers Pack.
The method of Interleaving is recommended by many respected pedagogues, including Graham Fitch. Imagine you have 3 tasks or pieces to work on during your practice sessions. It is very common to spend a large block of time on the first, then move on to the second, then the third. At which point one finishes.
Interleaving gets you spending a SHORT period of time on the first task, followed by short periods of time on each of the second and third tasks. You then repeat, going back to the first task.
You may very well end up spending the same total amount of time on each task BUT Interleaving is far more effective than practising in the usual linear fashion.
Why Is Interleaving So Effective?
- You spend only a short amount of time on something in one go so you do not get bored or lose focus. You can maintain a keen sense of concentration rather than just playing through your piece.
- You do not build up a false sense of security. When you perform a piece you need to play everything right FIRST TIME! If you practise one thing for a long period of time you become accustomed to the challenges and after the ninth or tenth time or repetition, yes, you can perform correctly. Interleaving keeps creating a "first time" scenario so you can really understand what you CAN play first time.
How Has Interleaving Helped You?
I love applying Interleaving to my practice and now I would be thrilled to hear from you. How has Interleaving helped you? Do you apply it every time you practise? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.