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Tuesday, March 31, 2015
I would say that from the time I was age 6 to 12, I would go to these different teachers, and when I would come home I would tell my Daddy, "Well they didn't really teach me anything because they told me I have to practice to be good and I know I need to practice already so what do I need a teacher for?" -Wynton Marsalis
This seemed like a great follow up to my last post on the importance of practice. These quotes and the video are from one of my favorite musicians, Wynton Marsalis. My Grandpa gave me a tape of Wynton's Carnaval album when I was 12 or 13. I was hooked. It still blows me away today. Then I discovered he was also a jazz musician. I couldn't understand how one guy could be so talented. Wynton's dedication to music education is also admirable. These quotes are coming from a guy who is one of the best in the world at what he does and is willing to teach others how to get there. Take a couple minutes to watch.
"Three hours will allow you to cover all aspects of playing, but 45-60 minutes is enough for one sitting. The quality of the practice is more important than the length of time it takes." -Wynton Marsalis
Thursday, February 26, 2015
|I recently found this graphic and thought it summed things up well for the musician!|
...cognitively complex activities take many years to master because they require that a very long list of situations and possibilities and scenarios be experienced and processed.Gladwell says that from the Beatles to Bill Gates it took a combination of natural aptitude and 10,000 hours of practice/experience to reach greatness. There's a great article on newyorker.com by Gladwell where he discusses this further. Here's the link - Complexity and the 10,000-Hour Rule.
This 10,000-Hour Rule is easily transferred to learning an instrument. How do we make sure we are getting our time in though? One of my new favourite quotes, and I'm not sure who said it, is "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Well, I don't want to plan to fail and I certainly don't want that for any of my students.
Maintaining a practice log is a great plan for tracking your progress and time. I put one together for my students and wanted to make it available to anyone else who may find it useful. I usually talk with my students about a weekly goal of how many minutes they think they can practice each week. A great starting point is 100 minutes which works out to 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Each person will have different goals and different amounts of time they are willing or able to commit to their instrument. A log helps us to see what needs to be done to reach our weekly goals. If you just want to know how to play the instrument and have some fun, 100 minutes a week works great. If you want to hit the 10,000 hour mark at some point in your life you will need to increase that. 2 hours a day, 5 days a week for over 19 years should do the trick!
Should you be practicing right now?
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
is best known for his time spent playing bass and trumpet for Nashville-based recording artists Downhere. recorded 11 studio albums, toured North America and Europe for 14 years and was the recipient of four Juno Awards, one Dove Award, and many others. Since 2012 Glenn has made his home in Williamsburg and has contibuted his musical talents to the leading worship and the praise team. Glenn studied jazz trumpet at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario and has been teaching between gigs ever since.