Follow this checklist and you’ll transform your practice –says Simone Niles
Many of us have heard of the golden rules, “practice, practice, practice” or “practice makes perfect”.
There is one word missing from these statements, ‘well’. “Practice well,” or “practicing well makes ‘perfect’”.
Too many times performers practice for hours and get only ten percent of the reward. While there is something good about practicing ‘just for the sake of it’, imagine practicing well, and enjoying it!
Once you put certain things in place you can learn how to improve your practice.
Here’s your checklist for a successful practice:
The right state of mind
How you feel when you practice matters! Imagine that you are about to practice your scales or a particular song, which state of mind would serve you best? Do you need to be relaxed or energized?
An ideal practice environment
Do you need to practice in a quiet area? What about the temperature of the room or the lighting? If you think about it for a moment you may realize you have a preference.
Clear and compelling goals
While practicing for the sake of it can be a good thing, know what you want to achieve in order to include the necessary aspects that will get you there.
A structured and flexible plan
How often will you practice and for how long? What specifically will you include? Being flexible is important because once your practice evolves so will you and you will have to adapt accordingly.
Tools that help you to stay motivated
Remind yourself of the reasons behind your practice. You focus on your goals and put yourself in environments that guide you there.
Make change a must
You make your goal so compelling that you can’t imagine not practicing in order to achieve it.
As you work your way through this list you’ll become more aware of what is already working for you – and what you need to change – to make your practicing go well.
My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids
Roveena – Someone Like You (cover)
Roveena, you have such a lovely tone and it is good to see that you have put both visual and vocal expression into the song. Perhaps you could tidy some of the words – ‘dreams came true, …I didn’t give to you’. Try singing the word ‘dreams’ as a single note. You may also want to adjust your posture while sitting, while keeping your back and neck long (but not tight). This will help you to maintain the support that you have already put in place. Congrats on the upcoming release of your EP this year!
Jenn Bostic – Snowstorm (original)
Jenn – your articulation is very good. As a singer/songwriter it is so important to get your message across and I understood all the lyrics you sang – well done. Pay attention to how you produce some of your words (‘Can’t get, can’t get) making sure that you use more muscular (intercostal muscles, ‘lats’ – latissimus dorsi ) and breath support to enable you to remain controlled with your voice production. Watch how you move your head and neck every time you sing those words. It would be good to hear you do this live. It was nice to hear some glimpses of your higher range and would be good to hear you extend this.
This article has been especially adapted for VoiceCouncil Magazine from Simone’s book, “Coaching For Performance Excellence”. www.coachingartistry.com