I’m proud to announce that my book Productive Practice has just been released in paperback.
For a long time I have wanted to write a book that sets out what I believe to be the fundamental principles of good practice. Over my years of teaching, the one thing that has struck me repeatedly is simply that students, regardless of their age and level, rarely understand how to manage their practice time. The question people ask most often about practice is how long they should spend doing it. Of course, there is no single right answer to this, but I’m certain that most people actually spend more time than they need to, but achieve less than they could.
This book isn’t so much about how to practise, in terms of technical or musical advice, but rather about how to approach goal-setting and time-management in your practice sessions, how to adjust your thinking about what practice is about, and how to put together manageable and achievable practice plans that will guide your short-term practice and structure your long-term progress.
Although the book obviously sets out the kind of thinking that underpins my ways of working with my own students, I didn’t want this to be a book just for pianists, so the majority of the thoughts and ideas that I discuss here apply equally to all instruments, and also to players of any age and standard. With sections on—amongst others—mindset, diagnostics, evaluation, focus, flow, perfectionism, and persistence, I hope this book offers a different perspective on an activity which is essential to all musicians, but also too often dreaded, endured, or avoided.
The paperback edition is out now on my webstore, and is available from your favourite online and bricks-and-mortar bookstores. The product description also carries links to the eBook edition.
Members can read an excerpt of the book for free here!