Blog Archives

Music Practice V Passive Leisure

 I did not wish to find when I came to die that I had not lived. – Henry David Thoreau The systematic time investment required for musical progress can be stolen by time thieves, and television is one of the

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Posted in Emotional intelligence, Multiple Intelligence, Music Education, Music psychology

Five Lessons from Surfing in Bali for Music Teachers

I’m presently in Bali for business and pleasure. I’ve taken up surfing, and the challenge and difficulty reminds me of the learning and teaching process for mastering music. I almost talked myself out of it. Am I getting a bit old for

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Posted in character, Chunking, mindset, motivation, Music Education, Music psychology, Nature, Physical education, Practice, Repetition, slow practice

Music Education Messages for Parents

In early February 2016 I was in Sydney, Australia, speaking to various groups of parents with children learning music. The content of my 45-minute talk included a mixture of music education advocacy and pragmatic advice for supporting their children in the often difficult commitment

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Posted in character, motivation, Music Education, Practice, prep, primary

The Tools for Musical Progress

I’ve just completed a speaking tour in Australia taking in Melbourne, Sydney, Bathurst, Newcastle, Launceston and Ulverstone. My talks were directed to staffs and students – general and music-specific – in school classrooms, assemblies and at conferences. I’d like to share

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Posted in Chunking, Music Education, Music psychology, Pianists, Practice, prep, Repetition, slow practice

How to Become an Expert – A Musical Perspective

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of being a guest on Eugene Loh’s 938Live radio show  ‘A Slice of Life’ in Singapore. We talked about the nature and pursuit of expertise, mostly -but not exclusively – from a musical

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Posted in Emotional intelligence, Multiple Intelligence, Music Education, Music psychology

Distributing Practice Over Time

“Sir, when should I practise? Practise only on the days that you eat.” -Shin’ichi Suzuki Memory is more effective when learning is distributed over a period of time rather than in one hit. This process of memory consolidation is known

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Posted in Music Education, Uncategorized

To Become An Exceptional Adult Musician…

To become an exceptional adult musician almost certainly requires an early start because of the time requirement, particularly for physically demanding instruments such as the piano and violin. Starting young can also set in motion a number of motivational conditions

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Posted in Music Education

Children and Musical Practice

When children practise music, they usually play straight through a piece without stopping to correct mistakes. Correction attempts, if any, are usually superficial and ineffectual. As children become metacognitive, they learn to identify errors and engage in the deliberate practice

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Posted in Music Education

How was it that Mozart was so brilliant so young?

Perhaps the most exceptional child prodigy in any domain ever, was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Most people – including music educators – assume that the reason for Mozart’s musicality was mostly to do with genetics. They say ‘he was born musical’.

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Posted in Music Education

Was John Coltrane the Greatest Practiser Ever?

Like Charlie Parker, Coltrane was a ‘mega’ practiser. John Coltrane took up the alto horn in 1939 and become known as one of—if not the most—prolific practisers ever. Coltrane had an insatiable appetite for musical development, and some stories have

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Posted in Music Education