Musicians practice to gain technical proficiency, learn new repertoire, develop musical interpretation, memorize music, and prepare for performances. Based on available empirical research, this chapter describes appropriate practicing and learning strategies that can be incorporated into regular music teaching to encourage students to become autonomous learners. Research demonstrates that practice is more effective when musicians engage in metacognition (reflecting upon their own thought processes); employ mental practice in combination with physical practice; approach practice in an organized, goal-oriented manner; study and analyze scores; plan relatively short and regular practice sessions; are intrinsically motivated; and listen to appropriate musical examples including professional recordings and/or teacher demonstrations.
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