Thursday, March 23, 2017

What is Practice?

First off, great news. I was recently accepted to the graduate bassoon program at UT Austin and will be doing so on a full ride! Woohoo!!! I'm so excited to have the amazing opportunity to work with other musicians and to hone my bassooning skills for the next 2 years!!

More good news, I recently sent a tape to the San Francisco Air Force Band and they gave me a call back. Audition is in April, wish me luck!!

This video got me really thinking about the purpose behind practice and how it actually works on a neurological level.. it's really fascinating. Take a look, you won't regret it.

Once you've watched the video, I'm sure you'll be as shocked as I am. The implications for musicians are incredible. It brings everything into a new light. We can now say "Once was a time it took 10,000 hours or 10 years to master a skill, now it takes (potentially) less than 1 year."
It also brings to light the very nature of what practice is. What we now know is that muscle memory is a myth.
Everything your PE coach told you is wrong. jk

So if we aren't training our muscles to learn something, what is doing the learning?
Our brains.
Our muscles are a crucial part to accomplishing anything obviously, but they only serve as the soldiers and your brain is the commander. If you already knew that, consider something else, your muscles can do nothing independently. That means anything and everything you play is controlled by your brain.
Have you been screwing up that fast passage recently? Time to stop retraining your fingers and start retraining your brain.

We already knew the key to perfect performance was perfect practice but I bet you didn't realize how close perfection was.. it's literally a neuron away...

Last thing: do you control your brain?

Ok then, there is nothing stopping you from perfect performance. Get it!

No comments: