Megan Gilles Music Studio

Willmar, MN
Phone:  320-220-4006

Yes, you see that right!  It is a cake on a page about practicing! 

Come Learn about the Practice Cake and other Practice Tips!

Think of these as the layers of the cake and pedaling is the top of the cake.


Dynamics and Tempo


Notes and Fingering


When using the practice cake approach, a piece of music is divided into layers.  Each layer, from the bottom to the top, should be securely learned before proceeding to the next.  Within each layer, more traditional methods or practice, like slow practice, hands separately practice can be used.

Suggestions for Practicing Well

1.  Practice EVERY DAY.

2.  Play everything more than one time.

3.  Follow the directions in your assignment.

4.  Play EVERYTHING in your assignment.

5.  Play slowly.  Do not play easy passages faster than difficult passages.

6.  Concentrate, think about your music. 

7.  Make a daily practice schedule.  Spend a certain amount of time on technique, sight reading, repertoire, etc.

8.  Look through the piece, know the form of the piece and musical terms.

9.  Practice short sections slowly, first hands alone, then together.

10.  Focus on the details-articulation, phrasing, fingering, etc.

11.  Avoid playing wrong notes or incorrect rhythms or wrong fingerings from the first so that bad habits do not need to be broken.

12.  RELAX, use efficient technique.  Keep your back straight and your neck relaxed.  

13.  CONCENTRATE and listen to your playing.  Avoid unthinking practice.

14.  Practice after a lesson while new information and the corrections are fresh in your mind.  

15.  Keep a record of the assignment, your goals, and your practice time.  This helps to promote a sense of accomplishment. 

Practice Skills

1.  To learn how to make music

2.  To learn how to read the notes

3.  To learn how to count and play with rhythm

4.  To train your fingers to be better

5.  To memorize your music.  

6.  To develop continuity.  Think ahead, keep alert!

7.  To train your ear to listen!