Self diagnosing.

stethI wouldn’t recommend trying to self diagnose if you are suffering from a physical ailment, but when students begin to tell ME why they are stumbling through a scale, why they keep missing a sharp or why the dynamics aren’t going quite right, you can bet I am doing the touchdown victory dance on the inside.  

Self diagnosing is key to successful independent learning. It is difficult to correct problems if you don’t realize they exist in the first place. So how can you train yourself to be the “Dr. House” of your own playing? Follow these tips.

1)Pay attention to the fingering. Many problems arise because we ignore those little numbers which are there to make tricky passages easier.

2)Know what you are aiming for. Listen to a recording of the piece you are working on or have your teacher play it so you can hear the correct rhythm and melody.

3)Pay close attention when your teacher discusses body, arm and hand position. Sometimes issues arise due to improper positioning.

4)Practice mindfully. If you are focused when practicing, you will be able to detect problems as they arise and avoid having to be “diagnosed” by your teacher after mistakes have become habit.

Stay tuned to find out how to FIX the problems once you know what they are.

Happy practicing!

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