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  • Noa Kageyama

    November 22, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Gregor,Learning is never as neat and tidy as we’d like it to be, but it seems that “both” is the way to go here with both of your questions. 1. Regarding hearing it in your head before you play, sure, you might have an idea in your head to start, but when you actually play it that way, it might not produce the results you are going for. The fingering may not work as you thought, the bow distribution and pressure and contact point may require a different combination, and so on. It’s important to have a target to aim for, but we have to test out that target, and see if we might need to move the target, and the only way to really know that is to play and try it out. This is particularly evident in chamber music, right? Where someone has an idea that sounds silly, but when you try it, it actually doesn’t sound so bad. 2. Same goes with your second question. The research is clear that mental practice alone is not as effective as physical practice alone. We just don’t get any feedback when we practice mentally. Or if we do, it’s not an exact replica of the feedback we would get physically. It’s better to think of mental practice as an adjunctive performance aid – as the literature also seems pretty clear that mental PLUS physical practice is better than physical practice alone. It’s also important to differentiate between mental practice and developing a clear intention. What Fleisher describes isn’t mental practice, so much as having a clear goal. As in, if we don’t have some idea of what we want something to sound like, we’re probably not going to be very successful at getting it on a consistent basis. Does that distinction make sense?Hope that helps to clarify!

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