Practicing - Playing a Musical Instrument

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    This page is for sharing ideas about playing / practicing, particularly for making practicing fun or enjoyable, and even flourishing. Explore enjoying the sounds of the music your instrument generates.

    Here are some developing, online, Music Playing Spaces, that are free and open:

    Try to play / practice at least 20 minutes a day, per instrument, or sing, - with enjoyment, and socially some of the time. Explore in your playing communicative music-making, e.g. a grandmother plays 'Pop goes the weasel' on her violin and her 5 year granddaughter plays the 'pop' sound on her own little violin, plucking a string, and 'hears this,' makes music with her grandmother, and loves it; extend this.

    Marsalis, Wynton and Yo-Yo Ma. 2010. Guidelines for practicing a musical instrument.

    "Recording became a habit and I have pretty much kept the recorder running for over 30 years." (PM Jack Lee - 3/14/2015 - who has won every major prize in solo and pipeband bagpiping) ... seems like a good practice when learning and practicing the bagpipe, or practice chanter (, and or instrument (see the Music School at WUaS - I'm going to begin this practice - just got a new hard drive with more disk space :)

    Use the word 'playing,' vis-a-vis playfulness, to transform the negative connotations of the word practicing, linguistically. Similarly transform discipline into 'focus,' and play. Playing / Making music, a lot and enjoyably, is the key thing.

    Sociocultural context ... if people are making music all around, with a lot of good models, and people to play with, the learning of technique, which can take hours, can be part of a conversation. Also, create an immersive milieu, by playing yourselves, where there's so much music around to 'converse' with, so that your children pick up music freely, and learn by playing with. The internet can generate these possibilities in new; see how you can engage them.

    I think playing / practicing a musical instrument is more fun socially than independently, and facilitating open and free 'Music Playing Spaces' in a Google + Hangout in group video chat online, can makes this possible in new ways. If you'd like to try this, email or simply join one when it's happening on the G+ page. See, too ... and ... where everyone plays their own instrument, muting ourselves ... (any e.g. bagpipe, voice, guitar ... play the instrument with which you want to develop 'flow' experiences with :). Let me know if you're interested ... This will help further the World University Music School - (S.M.)

    How to make regular playing / practices, in a rock band, a pipe band, an a capella, singing group or a chamber music group, really fun, getting to 'space,' or 'transcendance,' or fugue-informed freedom for example, like the Grateful Dead did, for example? What's the 'structure' of regular, most-fun music-playing together (in the beginning of music-making, and for experienced musicians)?

    ideas: ... listen, relax, let musicians choose their own music, keep the group small, regularly make time to explore improvisation, with a musician facilitating this with the other musicians, begin with the blues. Choose, for example, J.S. Bach or similarly moving, and accessible, music, and listen to good, related CDs, mp3s, in Music-playing Spaces in a Google + Group Video chat hangout ...

    Explore jamming at :)

    I've found there to be little frustrations when learning a musical instrument, and that returning to the relaxation response, or the neurophysiology (release) of soaking in the Harbin Hot Springs' warm water pool at about body temperature, and / or a regular meditation practice, to be helpful, as a kind of bodymind basis to return home to, and from which even to play.

    Find a way to get paid money for playing/practicing. For example, if you join a police bagpipe band, as well as the police, in Scotland, you may get paid for bagpiping, and possibly for as much as 2 hours per day (in addition to the other aspects of this job).

    Translate the 'discipline' word, which has negative connotations (for me) into the word 'focus' and find the joy of focusing daily. (S.M.)

    'Shepherding' vis-a-vis practicing, in many forms, has a lot of merit, especially in terms of sociality and focus.

    Structure and vary your practice for your own instrument:

    For example, with bagpiping you might play, beginning with 10 minutes, and building up to 1-5 hours per day in your year 7 +:

    Piobaireachd on Mondays and Thursdays

    March, Strathspeys and Reels on Tuesday and Fridays and

    Hornpipes, Jigs, Slow Airs, etc., on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

    Then adapt such a schedule / structure for your own instrument.

    Play, play, play every day into the bodymind electric :)

    How to bring together playing / practicing a Musical Instrument with 'Eliciting Loving Bliss Neurophysiology' in flourishing ways?

    Guidelines Practicing Loving Bliss vis-a-vis Musical Instrument ...

    Would it be possible to create a practicing / playing application that parallels these principles in DragonBox Algebra:

    "The key principles used in designing DragonBox are: Students learn more when they are engaged. The most important factor to learning is feedback. Feedback should be immediate to be effective. To feel mastery is key to staying motivated. Students should be presented with challenges that match their level of mastery. Students should be assessed in a formative, non-intrusive way. A safe environment is the key to learning. Peer learning is very effective. Discovery or experiential learning is much more effective than instructional-based teaching. Students learn differently and at different paces. The language we use to teach mathematics is a barrier to understanding." (

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    Buttwinick, Marty. 2008. About Music Lessons . Glendale, CA:

    The Bagpipe Society (Scotland) has posted 8 videos in a series entitled "Learning to Play the Border Pipes" with Ian Clabburn (use the following link[1] )

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    Bruser, Madeline, and Yehudi Menuhin. 1999. The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart. (3rd Printing edition). Three Rivers Press.

    Burns, Stephanie A (Author), with Jack Lee, J. Reid Maxwell, Steven McWhirter, Stuart Liddell (Commentaries). 2018. Practice Strategies That Cause Musical Improvements. (Overcoming Musical Hurdles). Vol. 1. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. /Bagpipe_Tutorials

    Klickstein, Gerald. 2009. The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness. Oxford University Press.

    Kurtz, Glenn. 2007. Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music. Knopf.

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    "Great show ! I remember Jerry saying in an interview about this time in his playing he was practicing up to 8 hours a day with a minimum of 2 to 3 hours a day.He said if he did not play every day , after 3 days he would completely lose his edge,miss notes, not play sharp and have to practice back into it.We miss you Jerry !" (A comment from this Dead show:

    "In terms of thinking through practicing further (still not yet for flourishing :), - - I'll think I'll start to add some more specific goals (per Marsalis and Ma), instead of just repeating and thereby furthering fluidity and bodymind memory." (S.M.).

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    Gould, Glenn, with Tim Page (interviewer). 2002. A State of Wonder: The Complete Goldberg Variations 1955 & 1981. Sony.

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    Buttwinick, Marty. 2008. [2] Guidelines For Practicing A Musical Instrument. Glendale, CA: guidelines-for-practicing-musical.html.

    Carter, Christina. Why the Progress You Make in the Practice Room Seems to Disappear Overnight. New York, NY:

    Davidson, Lindsay. 2013. How to Practice. Poland:

    Extended technique. 2012. Extended technique. (Extended technique is a term used in music to describe unconventional, unorthodox, or non-traditional methods of singing or of playing musical instruments employed to obtain unusual sounds or timbres.[1]). Wikipedia.

    Foregard, Marie, Ellen Winner, Andrea Norton, and Gottfried Schlaug. 2008. Practicing a Musical Instrument in Childhood is Associated with Enhanced Verbal Ability and Nonverbal Reasoning. PLoS ONE 3(10): e3566.

    How To Practice A Musical Instrument. 2012. How To Practice A Musical Instrument: Tips for practicing an instrument for players at all levels.

    Introducing the Learning Dashboard. 2014. Introducing the Learning Dashboard. .

    Kageyama, Noa. 2012. A Better Way to Practice. August 31. SF, CA:

    MacLeod, Scott. 2014. California Condor at Big Sur: "The Pitch and Scale of the Great Highland Bagpipe" seems to be sharper than B flat and in Mixolydian mode, Learning to accompany, or "comp," further on the piano playing Scottish Country Dance music with inverted chords and then HOW TO START INSERTING PLAYING MELODY (a motivator for me) with these inverted chords?, "PIPE MUSIC BOOK of the 48TH HIGHLANDERS OF CANADA". May 12. May 12. Canyon, CA:

    MacLeod, Scott. 2013. Newly hatched green turtle: Practicing - Playing a Musical Instrument, "4 Concentrate when you practice. Yo-yo Ma says join feelings into your music when you feel bad, to integrate your feelings with your mind and body". September 25. Canyon, CA:

    MacLeod, Scott. 2013. Scottish thistle: Question of how to play music - bagpiping in this instance - 2 hours per week 3 times socially, as fun, In what ways will we be able to do this virtually - in a Google + Hangout from home - in generatively fun ways, especially!?, 'Scottish smallpipes and borderpipes,' 'Scottish Country Dancing,' 'Great Highland Bagpipe,' 'Piano,' WUaS wiki subject pages, In many ways, this is an exploration about 'Practicing - Playing a Musical Instrument,' and I'll post this blog entry to this page; there's a label in this blog called 'practicing'. April 5. Canyon, CA:

    MacLeod, Scott. 2015. Sunda flying lemur - Colugo (Galeopterus variegatus): Conversation about piano learning, Theorizing and thinking about learning, Enjoyableness, "Lyricalness," sociality, can be key for me, Guidelines for Practicing a Musical Instrument By Wynton Marsalis and Yo-Yo Ma, Music Playing Spaces on the Internet, Enjoyable daily musical instrument playing when this comes together with a kind of logic at any age can help one learn to play an instrument. August 13. Canyon, CA:

    MacLeod, Scott. 2014. Western Red and Black-and-white Colobus monkeys: Curious in an ongoing way about PRACTICING/playing a musical instrument with great enjoyment ... and beginning to explore how computer applications might inform this in new ways, Applying the new successful DragonBox Algebra computer application insights into learning math to practicing?, And what can one do as a teacher with the following DragonBox principles in real life lessons, and in teaching daily playing with great enjoyment?, A real life example of recent enjoyable practicing playing the piano / keyboard for Scottish Country Dancing e.g. playing harmony is fun, etc., Applying the DragonBox Algebra computer App principles to a hypothetical practicing computer application using the College of Piping Tutors as an example, Music Playing Spaces online. July 29. Canyon, CA:

    Marsalis, Wynton and Yo-Yo Ma. 2010. Guidelines for practicing a musical instrument.

    Spitzer, Peter. 2012. How to practice a musical instrument. Mountain View, CA:

    Tsioulcas, Anastasia. 2013. 10 Easy Ways To Optimize Your Music Practice. Sep 3. Washington, DC: NPR - National Public Radio.

    Your brain on meditation: Practice makes perfect. 2013. Your brain on meditation: Practice makes perfect. New Haven, CT: Yale Campus Youtube channel.

    Memorizing Music

    Aviles, Cesar. 2010. How can I Memorize a 40 minute Piece of Music?. Oct 30. Tips for classical musicians.

    Olmstead, Mary. 2006. Yo yo Ma memorizing music. (Yo yo Ma on memorizing music). Chicago, IL: Raintree.

    Simon. 2010. Music Memorization. January 1. Musician Matters.

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    What Playing A Musical Instrument Does To Your Brain. 2014. What Playing A Musical Instrument Does To Your Brain. TED Ed - .

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