Violin Tip of the Day
For Violin Students of All Ages
Practice and Rehearsal Tips.  Technique Pointers.  Violin Care Guidance. Exercises and Motivation for Violinists, Fiddlers or Anyone Interested in Stringed Instruments.
Today's Tip
Sometimes the quantity of your violin practice is not nearly as important as the quality of your practice. This is especially important at times when you have only a short time to practice, and I know that is the case for many of us as we approach the holidays. 

For this reason it is very important to approach your practice with a goal.  Have something specific in mind that you want to accomplish.  That being said, make the best use of your time.

Warm-up is important, so be sure that you take some time to warm up your muscles and your mind.  You won't progress if you are not truly ready to learn.  And that is just what practice is, a time to learn and discover what works best for you in a given situation.

Exercises are important.  If your teacher has assigned specific etudes, work on them.  Spend some time in the drills necessary to build the muscle memory and stretch your abilities.

If you are preparing a piece for performance, spend some time working on it.  It is not always vital to play a piece all the way through.  If time is tight, just work on the passage that is giving you trouble.  Work on the troublesome fingering or bowing or rhythm, then back up a measure or two and put it in context.  Cleaning up a five-second trouble spot can make a world of difference in your six-minute competition piece.

End the practice having some fun.  Do something you enjoy doing!  A favorite passage, working on something you can do to show off to your fiddle friends, maybe a bit of jazz or bluegrass or something from a popular song.  Ending a session with a smile will make it much easier to start the next one!
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