This morning I encountered 4 separate articles citing practice as a panacea.
I have to admit, I find the pronouncements maddening and I love to practice. The reason I am bothered is that none of these articles, none of them, actually discussed how to craft a practice. What you need to know to begin a practice habit and how you need to adapt to continue. The fact is that Practice is Permanent. If you practice the wrong thing repeatedly, it will stick.
This is why, more often, I talk about Process, defined as a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
Process makes you keep the end in mind as you work so that if you start to drift from your desired goal, you will know. It makes each session about achieving something specific which in turn makes the next steps much clearer. It also allows for thought alone to be the process rather than always needing to perform an activity.
Reciting your speech, or singing your piece, over and over will cause memorization (eventually). But repeating specific techniques over and over will not necessarily lead to mastery of that technique. Practice without purpose will not improve your performance, Process will.
Fall in love with Process and your practice will take care of itself.
If you any questions and/or comments as always please feel free to leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.