Practise makes perfect?

Pianists are nutorious for repeating and repeating, very loud and very fast `during their practise. Not only is this really annoying for the poor clarinetist in the practise room next door, but also not particularly constructive. I know how easy it is to be seduced by the sound of your own playing  (of the bit you actually can play) BUT, what we should be doing is beginning our workout with the part of the score we can’t play!

However, even if we do practise in the ‘right’ way, does practise actually make perfect?

I’m not so sure. I think that is it possible to believe that you have done as much work as you could, feeling as ready as you will ever be, and still succumb to the preassure of performing.  Leaning to manage your own nerves is just as important as the practise itself. Without the mastery of both aspects, it is unlikely that you will give the performance you intend to.

A very useful book on this subject is ‘The Inner Game of Music’

by W Timothy Gallwey. Based on the same ideas as his previous book; ‘The Inner Game of Tennis’, it addresses the issues connected with performance anxiety and makes the reader aware of the strategies which can be used to combat nerves.

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