Alice Letts

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Ten Commandments of Practice

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  1. Thou shalt practice every day, even if only for a short period.
  2. Thou shalt never practice faster than thou canst play perfectly, for it is written: perfect practice makes perfect.
  3. Thou shalt not put off working on the hard parts; David did not invite Goliath to come back after tea.
  4. Thou shalt work out a usable fingering, inscribe it on thy music papyrus and never vary from it, for fumbling fingers find fate fickle.
  5. Thou shalt not apologise for thy playing, nor say ‘oops’ when thou makest a mistake, for thou wilt only draw attention to things which otherwise would never have been noticed.
  6. Thou shalt practice each composition in short segments, that thy fingers may not break off more than thy mind can chew.
  7. Thou shalt listen. Thou shalt listen. Thou shalt listen. And not only to organists, for it is written: What this world needs is fewer organists and more musicians who play the organ.
  8. Thou shalt not pedals without shoes, for thy odor eaters may not be fresh, and besides, it leads to sloppy playing.
  9. Thou shalt begin and end each practice period with something thou canst already play, that thou mayest not be discouraged.
  10. Thou shalt remember always that thy practice is a labour of love, and that by persistence thou canst bring to pass many wonders.

– Author unknown


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