One of the best things about playing a musical instrument is being able to play with other people. Many people really enjoy playing in bands and orchestras but can’t seem to build the same enthusiasm for individual practice. If you are one of these people why not turn it to your advantage.
Instead of practicing on your own invite a friend round to practice with you. You need to be smart about this though and make sure that you use the time effectively – don”t just play through band music or tunes you know. This is the ideal chance for you and your friend to practice another very important skill – listening. Here”s how . . .
- Begin your practice by warming up together.
- One of you play the pieces your teacher has asked you to practice while the other listens. Discuss between you how you think it might be improved and try again.
- Swap over so that the other person has a chance to play – again the other person should listen carefully and then discuss how things might be made better.
- Play something together. This is a very good chance to practise things that you might not normally focus on ie tuning and ensemble (playing together).
Don’t worry if you don’t have any friends that play the same instrument as you, the 2 of you can play different things. If you’re not sure who to ask speak to your teacher as they may be able to suggest a suitable practice partner.
Most importantly use this as a chance to practise your listening skills. Listen very carefully to both yourself and your friend and try to imagine what your teacher might suggest as improvements.