The Practice Journal Blog.


Start small, win BIG.

May 04, 2017 Brett Yang

Start small, win BIG.

Start small…win big. Have you ever had an epic goal you wanted to achieve but never managed to make it happen?  I was always good about aiming really high, and while this felt great in the moment, I could never get it to actually happen. My lack of discipline and other distractions kept getting in the way…or so I thought. One evening some years ago I decided I wanted to learn all 24 Paganini caprices in the next 24 months. I was so excited, fantasising about the results, that I believed nothing could stop me, not realising that I was...


Can Practising Too Much be Unhealthy? How Much is Too Much? (Professional Physiotherapist's Views)

March 08, 2017 Eddy Chen

Can Practising Too Much be Unhealthy? How Much is Too Much? (Professional Physiotherapist's Views)

Hi! We recently asked a renowned physiotherapist, Dr. David Peterson, some questions regarding music practice and health. Dr. Peterson has worked with numerous orchestras in Australia and helped countless musicians. You can watch the interview here! So.... Practice Smart! Brett & Eddy ###### The Practice Journal is designed to help you become the best musician you can be. The journal shares the tactics and practice strategies of world-class soloists and pedagogues. The nuggets of wisdom contained within has changed both our lives, and we wish the same for you.  


Why you should plan your practice vacation.

February 17, 2017 Brett Yang

Why you should plan your practice vacation.

Daily journaling is one of the biggest factors in keeping practice fun and purposeful. But sometimes I catch myself improvising something to write down, making something up just for the sake of journaling. Yes, I may be too lazy to think of something, but the previous 7 days have been quite spot on…maybe today can call for an alternative method to how I journal? So, I decided to change things up: I’ll practice silencing the critiques in my mind and let myself just play the music. Sometimes we need a deloading phase in life ­– we have exams, concerts and...


Dealing with Crippling Self-Doubt

January 31, 2017 Eddy Chen

Dealing with Crippling Self-Doubt

Am I good enough? There’s no way I could ever play like that! Why can’t I just get this right!? These thoughts musicians like myself face all the time. What separates the best from the mediocre is the ability to practice calmly in spite of these emotions. In The Practice Journal, violin pedagogue Dr. Robin Wilson offers some advice: “Patience and persistence is the greatest virtue,” he said. “Frustration, on the other hand, can cause excess muscle tension, limit focus and generally lessen tonal quality.” This advice is echoed by Japanese pedagogue Dr. Suzuki: “Don’t rush, but don’t rest; Patience...


2x your results with slow practice.

December 29, 2016 Brett Yang

2x your results with slow practice.

Perhaps the most common piece of advice for musicians is S...L...O...W......P...R...A...C...T...I...C...E What do I mean by slow practice? Well, the conventional understanding is to practice a difficult passage at a slower and more comfortable tempo - during which you make a conscious effort to maintain accuracy and control. Then, as the passage begins to feel more familiar, increase the tempo in small increments. Simple right? Well, not quite. The trouble often arises when we begin to increase the tempo. We often hit a plateau - a speed threshold above which our accuracy begins to crumble. No matter how slowly we...