Tips for Classical Musicians

Category: Practice Tips

The Best Classical Music Practice Tips

Getting started with classical music training is only the start of the journey, we all need to practice and here are some of the best classical music practice tips to help you develop and grow.

  1. Find A Quiet Place

This might seem obvious but it will not only make you far less likely to succumb to distractions but entering a designated practice are whether it is just the corner of your living room or a particular room helps to mentally prepare you for this kind of work. Mindful intention means a lot and you can help set this intention by having a ritual in place of going to the same place each time.


2. Ready Your Supplies

Cellist David Finckel has a 100 video series on YouTube known as “Cello Talks” where he says that you do not even need to play the cello to get much out of most of them. Part of what he covers might seem like very basic advice such as the discussion of his practice space. He advices his audience to keep a very clean eraser along with a pencil sharpener close by as well as a pencil for marking up music. This seems simple but it is one of those little things that are easily forgotten and you can easily waste a lot of time if you have to start searching for them. A top classical music practice tip to keep in mind!


3.Technology As A Training Aid

Technology is an amazing aid but only if you do not spend too much time fiddling with it. I have 3 low-cost or free apps on my iPad a phone: a timer, a tuner, and a metronome since they are important practice tools. I also carry my phone with me everywhere (as most of us do) so it’s technology you can trust to have to hand.


4. Classical Music Tip – Start With an End in Mind

Always have a goal for every practice session before you begin playing. Simply playing music is not the same thing as practicing. You should think about what you would like to accomplish that particular day before you begin. If you aren’t too sure about what to focus on, you can ask your teacher / mentor for several concrete goals you can work toward before the next lesson. Note these goals down so that you are able to refer to them in your practice sessions.


classical music practice tips


5. Mapping Classical Music Practice Sessions like Workouts

Many musicians love starting with some breathing exercises and a few stretches before they ever pick up any instrument. Even if you don’t reach that extent, a relatively common scenario is to warm-up using scales to loosen up the muscles and get the brain thinking about technique. Next, move to the “working” part that involves analyzing and attempting to solve problems. Finally, cool down by improvising or revisiting music that you already know well.


6. Practicing Smarter, Not Necessarily Longer

If you have a focused objective you can easily accomplish much more within a shorter amount of time. Science even tells us that the amount of willpower that you can draw upon is limited. You thus need to make the most of the time available to you. Assume that you are having problems with a couple of tricky measures. Set a timer for a short period (say 5 to 10 minutes), then focus exclusively on one problem in as many ways as possible. You can even break it down into successively smaller and manageable bits, go very slow, change the rhythm, and try playing the passage backward, whatever. If you still have problems with that trouble spot, make a mental note to come back to it again tomorrow. It is highly likely that it will be much easier then.


7. Classical Music Practice Tip – Don’t Always Start At The Beginning Each Time

Don’t forget about maximizing your willpower and time. It feels quite good to hear yourself playing beautifully at the beginning of a piece but you can easily find yourself wasting the limited energy and time that you have. It can also lead to performances that start strongly but wilt along the way.


8. Challenging Yourself

This refers to challenging yourself physically. This is particularly important if you are attempting to wrestle down a problematic element. Scientific research say that adding a physical challenge to a difficult task such as attempting to play the part while walking or standing on one leg forces the brain to start creating new neural pathways. When you resume doing the original task, it will be much easier.


classical music practice tips for all instruments


9. Practicing Away From Your Instruments

Visualization is a tool that many musicians use just as athletes do: They run through music without actually touching any instruments. When you have some downtime such as during a train or car journey, you can try bringing your music along with you either on a mobile device or on paper then read through it silently. Envisage yourself practicing but only in your mind, you will be amazed how much of an impact this visualization can have.


10. Rewarding Your Hard Work

To help the brain automate good habits, you need to reward hard work in a positive way. This might sound like plain old bribery but it is backed by science. Charles Duhigg, who authored The Power of Habit writes that finding something that the brain likes helps it remember the “habit loop”.


You can get more information on Classical Music culture and importance of practice with our blog on 50 things to remember in the practice room.


July 19, 2017     0 Comments   , , ,

10 Habits Common Among Successful Classical Musicians

As with all things, success leaves footprints and the same is true of classical musicians. We’ve found the top 10 habits of successful classical musicians. A thought on the minds of all musicians who graduate formal education is that of whether they will be able to take control of their musical journey and pave a way that will lead to a successful career. A specific method for career control does not exist; however identifying the traits which are common among successful classical musicians can certainly be worthwhile.


The 10 habits outlined below are seen in successful musicians and all aspiring musicians do well to take each one to heart.  

The 10 Habits of Successful classical Musicians

  1. Know Who You Are

You are the start of your music. If you want to tell the world that you are a musician worth taking note of and really be a successful classical musician, then you should be able to clearly articulate why you have a passion for music and why you want it to be the center of your life. Knowing your place in the music world, including what you already have under your belt and what you still have to learn, is another crucial factor. Make sure you are your own worst critic, that way you will be prepared for anything that comes your way.  


2. Don’t Settle For Being A Good Musician, Aspire To Be A Great Artist

Musicians are two a penny, but true artists are hard to find. A real artist has an adoring and loyal fan base and rewards their fans by constantly providing something new and improved. Work out what it will take for you to be a real artist, then make the moves you need to get there. Think about the people who inspire you, who do you consider to be a successful classical musician and use their examples in your life. Picasso, Mendelssohn, Charlie Chaplin, there are plenty to choose from. Step into their shoes and allow yourself to see life through their eyes.  


10 Habits Of Successful Musicians


3. Never, Ever Stop Learning

A real artist is always hungry for new knowledge, thirsty for incredible ideas and ready to drench their minds with things that inspire. Make interesting people a focus in your life. Read about them, listen to them, talk to them, ask them questions; in simple terms, do your best to be in the company of interesting people each and every day of your life. Don’t forget that unconventional sources of information can still be excellent sources of knowledge. People who never stop learning are the best company to be with, they are always transforming themselves and enriching their personal growth experience. Make sure that you are one of those people and you’ll be well on your path to becoming a truly successful classical musician.  


4. Perfect Performances Require Work

Comparing your own performance to your ideal performance is something you should not shy away from. Never lose your passion for constant improvement. Make a recording of yourself on your mobile phone. Let your friends hear your performance and tell them that you will only accept honest feedback. Take the time to listen to the musicians who inspire you the most. Volunteer to perform for the most incredible musicians that you know. This will show that your level of dedication far surpasses everyone else.  


5. Friends Are Crucial

Careers need people, not solitary confinement. Your contact list of friends, mentors, and contacts within the music industry should be well kept and ever expanding. There is great likelihood that it will be one of the people in your contact list who gives you that life-changing inspiration, introduces you to the right person at the right time, or opens the door to an opportunity that could otherwise have been missed. Having a big musical family certainly isn’t something to complain about.  


6. Become a Successful Classical Musician And Imagine Various Lives That May Be Within Your Reach

Stay open-minded to the various ways that you could make being a musician the center of your life. The options are very varied. You know the old saying (with a slight adjustment), ask not what the music industry can do for you ….. Working in the world of arts presents big challenges for everyone who makes this their career path in life. As a musician, your aim should be to present a great solution for them, rather than give them a problem to deal with. When it comes to recommendations on how to run the organisation in an improved way, tips on programming or innovative ways to appeal to the public, these people are more than appreciative of your ideas. Make a point of asking how you can be of help.  


How To Be A Successful classical musician


7. Inspire Others By Your Example

The mind of an artist, including ideas and ideals, is something others may struggle to fully understand. That is why the best way to stand out from the crowd is to live life in a way that shows exactly who you are and what you are passionate about. Let your example inspire other people and doors will soon open.  


8. Make A Habit Of Giving Back

Don’t underestimate the need to get sharing your own knowledge, experience and personal inspirations with potential listeners of classical music, as well as people in your locality and further afield. You are an artist and a musician, that means you will always have something great to share with others. People viewing you as a generous person who thinks of other people is sure to be a good thing for you too.  


9. Stay On The Path

Stay dedicated to your art – always keep respect for why you became a musician in the first place and resist any temptation to deviate off course – ultimately that is what will earn you the respect of the industry as a whole, as well as that of individuals. Today’s music industry dangles many temptations to leave the high standards of practice and study to the side.



Those in music education, administrators, and musicians themselves go to great lengths to create opportunities and get tickets sold. When it comes to it, if you really want to be trusted and respected in the industry you need to show that you are not someone who is willing to stray from the course of musical excellence.

10. This is where you add your own tip,

9 tips are enough to get you started, please share you comments and add what you think should be tip 10 in the comments below!


June 21, 2017     0 Comments   , ,