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Practice the Pause

When we think of practice, we often think of playing our instrument in a timed period on a repetitive basis. While playing this way does yield favorable results, did you know that playing with reflective pauses in between each attempt may actually yield better results? According to two studies from The Journal of Experimental Brain Research and The Journal of Neurophysiology, performance psychologist and Juilliard alumnus and faculty member, Dr. Noa Kageyama reports:

The researchers in this study replicated the findings of the other study, observing that the longer delay of 14 seconds between practice attempts led to more rapid improvements than a shorter 4-second delay. Of course, the point isn’t the pause itself, but what happens during the pause. And in a series of follow-up experiments, the authors found evidence suggesting that the performance improvement from trial to trial is due to the increased learning that can occur in the time following each error.

If you feel like practice is a repetitive playing session, Dr. Kageyama recommends breaking in between to "use that time to ponder or reflect on what just happened, and why it happened." Remember you can achieve more (and have more fun) while practicing "the pause."

Read the full article or listen to the podcast here from The Bulletproof Musician!

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