Saturday, June 21, 2008

Great Article about students and practice

There was a great article about practice at the MENC web site by John May.  It looks at both quality and quantity of practice.
Wynton Marsalis was talking about this as well in his Tackling The Monster TV program.
Practice really isn't just about how much time you put in.  It is also about what you practice.  Sure, I want my kids to put in lots of time, but not just on the stuff they they really know already.
John May has a great chart in his article.  One axis is time and the other axis is efficiency.  Ideally, you do want kids in the 4th quadrant (lots of time and efficient practice.)  
What if you had to choose between time and efficient?
I would lean towards the goal. Does the student play correctly with good control and tone. Does it really make a difference how long it took them to get there?  We need to teach efficient practice.

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