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Wondering whether to pick up that instrument you used to play? A study has reported that musical instrument learners are 64% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment or dementia.1
However, learning on your own is a big challenge. Thankfully, there is an easier way! Read on to discover a new way to learn – music mentorship.
Everyone needs guidance
Pop quiz: what do Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Meryl Streep all have in common? They each had a mentor who guided them to become some of the most successful people in history. No matter the subject, mentorship is widely-recognised as one of the best tools out there to help learners succeed. Why, then, are musical instrument learners left to their own devices to figure out how to perfect their craft?
While most instrumental learners will receive music lessons at some point or another, the majority of time spent interacting with their instrument will be during independent practice between lessons. But good practice technique doesn’t just happen. Other than playing through the assigned passages each week and trying to make as few mistakes as possible, how is a learner supposed to know whether they are practising effectively? How can they be sure they are actually making progress? The short answer is, they can’t. Which brings us to music mentorship.
So, what does mentorship look like for those learning a musical instrument? It is called Guided Practice, and only a handful of music students attending elite music schools currently benefit from it. Here’s how it works: professional musicians listen to learners playing in practice rooms, and pop in to offer feedback and encouragement. It’s as simple as that.
Guided Practice is proven to help learners improve faster than through regular practice and lessons alone. This is because a skilled mentor’s feedback helps motivate learners during the countless hours spent away from their teachers, reducing practice frustration and building a more mindful practice technique over time.
It’s not a lesson?
It’s completely different from a music lesson, and the job of a music practice mentor is completely different from that of a music teacher. In a music lesson, students are taught technique and musical expression, and will learn something new from their teacher every time. During music practice, the point is not to learn anything new, but instead to rehearse what was taught during the lesson and revise the passages that need improving.
Guided Practice is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between these two distinct yet mutually beneficial activities. Practice mentors are like coaches of a football team, or trainers in a gym! They’re there to help and to celebrate the wins.
By helping music learners to use the right techniques when practising, progress is made much faster, which in turn motivates them to practise more! Our learners have been known to progress at two or even three times the speed of others who are going at it alone.
We’ve brought Guided Practice into the 21st century: we have created the first-ever Virtual Guided Practice Room, where instrumental learners can receive the music mentorship they need through a convenient and user-friendly mobile app. While they practise, learners open up their app, and a professional musician is listening and watching on the other end, sending messages with advice and encouragement.
For ages 7 or 77!
Whatever stage of your musical learning, Practice Pal’s music practice mentors can guide you through it – whether you’re 7 or 77! For those younger musicians, our mentors are background checked against top safeguarding standards used in schools across the UK, and our app is the only video software to be approved for under 13s on the App Store and Play Store.