Practicing scales is a great opportunity to consciously shape our personal sound. For many years I would use scales to build dexterity and theory knowledge. On many levels this experience was very helpful. However, the greatest benefit I experienced from practicing scales happened when I changed my habits, focus and priorities. » Read more
The compartmentalization of musicianship can lead to several blocks and disconnects in our practice and performance. We study theory separately from technique, technique separately from repertoire and repertoire separately from improvisation. This can lead to large gaps in artistic development because we tend to pigeonhole ourselves way too soon and too often. We decide that we can improvise but can’t read. We can read but can’t memorize. We can memorize but we can’t do Hanon. We hate theory but love repertoire.
It’s as if the musical dots are discouraged from being connected!
Throughout my playing and practice career I have often consciously and unconsciously struggled with being 100% connected to what I was playing. Possessed by a faithful autopilot, my hands and body sometimes carry me through a performance or practice session. Without respecting this disconnect; we typically endlessly analyze our performances, learn new material, push ourselves in negative ways and use external motivation to improve.