Author Archive for David Motto

Many musicians teach themselves mistakes at every practice session.  They’re usually not even aware that these errors are happening. This habit of learning mistakes is so commonplace because of the way most musicians practice their music.  A typical attempt at learning a song looks something like this: –Start playing at the top. –Stop when a […]

Focus and intensity are key components to staying alert while practicing so you can meet your musical goals. Though many musicians want to practice for hours on end, it’s nearly impossible to remain focused for such a long amount of time. According to Dianne Dukette and David Cornish in their 2009 book The Essential 20: […]

I was recently reminded of the power of our connected, online world when I ran across a couple mentions of me and one of my books from late 2011. Without you even knowing it, other people might be uploading information about you and your music to their websites, blogs, and social media sites. It’s wonderful […]

We all see new technologies being introduced every day. Some are embraced. Some are discarded. But, there’s no doubt that musicians lives are being affected by these technologies. I’m not talking about the reputed demise of the music industry, sagging sales of recorded music, and plunging revenues for record companies. The truth is that only […]

Like most other musicians, I spent most of my life thinking that how much practicing I did directly impacted how much forward progress I made as a musician. I only wanted to practice when I had at least 2 hours of uninterrupted time for playing. I was a slave to this concept. This was fine […]

Are you passionate about the music you’re playing?  If not, it’s probably pretty difficult to get excited about practicing and doing all the hard work needed to perform well. There are plenty of situations in life that do not contain passion.  Just think of commuting to work or school, running errands, doing housework, and all […]

It’s interesting to rehearse without playing the beginnings of any of the pieces your ensemble is working on.  This is counter-intuitive for most people, but it opens up the group to thinking about their music in a new way.  Just because the default mode of musicians is to start at the beginning doesn’t mean that […]

Do you ever feel that you’re practicing only one or two items and feel guilty for neglecting others?  Most of us have experienced these feelings.  We know we should be more balanced in our practicing–even as we play through the fun music on our practice list. The Musician’s Practice Planner can help you avoid these […]

A performer walks on stage to start a concert.  They seem uncomfortable, maybe even a bit scared.  They look down at the floor as they enter. How will the audience react to this musician?  Will they be enthusiastic and eager to listen to the performance? In this situation, audiences usually feel embarrassed and worried that […]

In your Musician’s Practice Planner, in addition to the weekly practice plan, it’s important for music students to write down their reward and their risk for meeting the practice goals for the week.  This is an excellent way to create motivation and forward momentum in achieving goals for music lessons and performances. Here’s how it […]