Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How to Make Practice Less Frustrating - Use the 5 Whys Technique.

Make Practice Less Frustrating with the 5 Whys Technique.

A few days ago, I was writing articles on the best ways to practice and came across this wonderful technique.  While it is applicable specifically to musical study and practice, it also shows us how using the Why Technique can help in our business and work world as well.  Please click and view this link before continuing:

So, the 5 Why’s give us many avenues to explore to make our practice less frustrating!  Identifying WHY the problem occurs and working from there to solve it.  It is like a science experiment and exciting to figure it out.   “When you are practicing, there is something you are doing (or not doing) that produces the undesirable result you are getting”.  Don’t just do it again, figure out how to fix it!

Here is an example of how it goes in a practice session:

-Sing through your piece and isolate a tough spot. Why did the phrase not sound the way we wanted it to? Take a moment to think about it and trouble shoot to find the solution. 

-Are you unsure of the right note to sing? Review the pitch and try it again. Did it not fix the problem?  Why?

-If you now know the right note, do you know when to come in?  Review that and sing it again. Still not right?  Why?

-If you know the note and when to come in, are you sure of the rhythm of the whole phrase?  Check it, clap it, and do it again. Is it still not right?  Why?

-Are you taking a good breath before the phrase? Check your breath. Sing it again. Is it slightly better?  Hopefully, yes, but still not how you want it?  Again ask Why?

-How is your posture?  It that affecting your sound?  Find your good singing posture and sing it again. Was it vastly improved?  I hope the answer is yes!

If so, you successfully used the 5 Why Technique to solve a problem in practicing your repertoire.  This is a much better way to work something out in your practice time than just repeating the same mistakes or getting frustrated.  This technique can be used in many aspects of your life.  Try it out the next time you practice and share the results with your teacher!!

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