The Practice Spot

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    Has anyone read “The Practice Revolution” by Phillip Johnston?


    I have taught piano for years now. Two years ago I ordered “The Practice Revolution” and devoured it.

    Philip Johnson writes an extremely readable, funny book. Referring to practicing, he gave me one of my favorite quotes: “Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug.” :-) He has a lot of enthusiasm as well as the largest piano studio in Melborne, Australia. I enjoyed his approach of “why *are* the students not practicing?” instead of addressing all the peripheral issues. He also has many good practice tips.

    I would say the book is a must have for any music teacher of any instrument. The only caveat I must give is that I found a fair amount of his aproach to be too idealistic for my extremely normal Midwestern kids. I absolutely love the idea of my students practicing until they’ve reached a goal and not until a certain time has elapsed or they’ve played a set amount of times, but no matter how I tried to implement that the result was chaos. Perhaps if I weren’t fighting against the tide of soccer, ballet, football, basketball, baseball, and sleepovers it would be easier.

    Hm. Guess that issue touched a nerve. Sorry.

    So–excellent book, but read with a few reservations.


    There’s another good book by Burton Kaplan, called “Practicing for Artistic Success”. It’s

    not geared specifically for harpists, but there are some very good ideas in it.

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