What’s the difference between Intentional Practice and Deliberate Practice?
They start in the same place.
The theory of deliberate practice emphasizes, in the pursuit of expertise, quality over quantity of experiences and values the student's holistic ability to process, and integrate improvements in targeted skills (Ericsson et al., 1993).
It’s amazing. It helps us understand that we can have an influence on our brains through neuroplasticity. But Intentional Practice takes it a step further. When we work in an efficient way through targeted strategies, we get better faster by laying better neural pathways. When we bring in intention, the quality of those connections and pathways improves further, increasing integration, confidence, and consistent, sustainable excellence.
Intentional Practice adds two major elements to Deliberate Practice :
1/ Intention as a guide. Having an overarching direction helps us stay on track and go further. It also helps us maintain progress and keeps us moving towards our goals on days it feels difficult. Intention is the precursor to motivation.
2/ Positive Emotional Signatures
Research shows that when learning in a context of “fun” or “play,” we learn faster, need fewer repetitions, and have better integration & retrieval. One of the best ways to deal with stress (our mind trying to protect us from danger) is to associate positive emotions with actions in our preparation (simple or complex) through visualization and mental practice. When we associate positive emotions with actions, we are more able to recognize and deal with uninvited nerves / stress, because our nervous system knows that not only we are actually safe, and that we physically and emotionally enjoy what we’re doing.
⚡️SPARK Practice is the Intentional Practice System for confidence onstage and in the practice room. SPARK Practice, your best friend in the practice room.
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How to reach your goals and have a successful week ?
Set your intention
+ When you point yourself towards large goals or ideas, you’re more likely to succeed
+ Imagine if your goal is across the room from you. What’s the easiest way to get there? Probably if you’re standing in front of it and walk directly toward it. Of course things will come up and it probably won’t be a simple, direct path. It it’s easier to get there if you’re facing the right direction.
Believe you can
+ To reach your goals, you need to believe that you will be able to acquire the skills and experience to get there.
+ Over time you’ll be confident, and be strong mentally, musically, and mechanically (technically).
+ This can be physical, or relationships, or even how you feel about yourself.
+ Are you overcommitted in ways that keep you from your goal ? Look at what you can let go so you don’t have FOMO from your dreams.
+ Are there people around you telling you that you’ll never succeed / you’re not talented / etc? That’s not helpful. Have a conversation and say “My goal is X and I’m working towards it. If you can’t support me working towards that goal, we need to spend less time together. If you want to support me, helpful things to say are “How are you feeling about your progress? How can I support you? Is there anything that’s on your mind?” These kind of questions are helpful & show your encouragement while I do something important to me, even if it’s hard.”
Take small action
+ Identify the next smallest steps
+ Fill out the practice journal
+ Turn on the practice timer
+ Use the pep talk on the practice page if you’re having trouble getting started
You can do it! Have a great week, & Happy Practicing !
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SPARK Practice is the Intentional Practice system for professional and pre-professional musicians to help you achieve confidence in the practice room and consistently strong performances.