Should you trust yourself while you practice? There might be some benefits. But, you will not even know how unless you pay attention to signs that it is not happening. To get you started, here’s a list of ten such indications:
- Playing a wrong note twice, trying to fix it the second time.
- Trying to make sure you play the right dynamics, fingering, phrasing, etc. (you think you know what’s so important, don’t you?).
- Realizing you missed something coming up in the music and rushing to fix it before it’s too late.
- Playing tentatively because you believe your idea of the music is less valid than your teacher’s.
- Stopping when you have a “memory slip.”
- Looking at your hands to make sure you hit the right notes.
- Looking at the music to make sure you don’t miss anything.
- Playing slowly because playing fast stresses you out.
- Playing fast because playing slowly stresses you out.
- Looking through this list the next time you practice and trying really hard not to do any of them.
So what DO I do?
Do these things if you want. Maybe you have really good reasons for doing them. Or, you could try not doing them.
Either way, pay attention to what happens.