Learn practice skills – Practice Boot Camp

Get the help you need to learn to practise effectively through coaching with RecorderJen

Jennifer Mackerras

If you want to play and perform better, then learning how to practice your instrument is a key skill. Sadly, it’s also a skill that most of us are expected to have already learned somewhere in our life journey.

Except most of us haven’t. We went to schools that told us to revise for exams, but neglected to tell us how to do that. Or we went to music teachers who told us about the importance of practice, but never really explained how it should be done. So we learn an instrument, but we fail to learn practice skills that will help us improve.

If you’d like to learn how to practise your instrument so that you learn faster, play better, and have more fun, then you’re in the right place. 

I help people to practise better

As you probably did, I went through a school system that didn’t teach me how to study. I went through childhood music lessons that were fun, but neglected to teach me how to practice in order to achieve what I wanted. As an adult I knew I was missing something vital – that there was information I lacked that could help me to play better. Bluntly, I need to learn practice skills. Just playing through pieces countless times was never going to do the job!

So I learned along the way, picking up ideas from my music background, but also from theatre, from books on sports, from modern learning science and neuroscience, and from countless music teachers and coaches. (Learn more here about me and my background.)

I’ve built all of that information into a set of principles and techniques that you can learn in a few short weeks. By the end of your time with me, you’ll:

  • Know tools and technique for learning fast/tricky passages
  • Practise more efficiently, leaving you more time for other things
  • Be able to plan your practice time to best effect
  • Know how to memorise material
  • Feel more confident

Here’s how I work.

When you first book in with me, I’ll send you a list of questions about what pieces you are working on, what you are finding challenging, and what your goals are. From your answers, I construct a plan tailor-made to your needs. Then, each lesson, I teach you the principles and techniques that will help you to achieve your goals, and I’ll set you some homework. This helps you to integrate your time with me into your practice sessions and your instrument lessons.

In the final session I help you to assess your progress towards your goals, and assist you to set some goals for the future.

With me, you’ll learn:

  • How to separate musical or physical skills out and work on them individually – divide and conquer;
  • How to play fast passages more reliably
  • Strategies for memorising
  • Ideas for working on tricky passages
  • How to create a practice plan

I’ll aim to teach you everything you need to get started in 5 sessions of 30 minutes each. You can come to my Bristol teaching room, or we can run the sessions via Skype – whatever suits you best. If you choose Skype, please do make sure that you’ve got a good webcam set-up and enough bandwidth so that the video will stream smoothly.

I’m really looking forward to working with you and helping you learn practice skills so you can become a better musician.

Why is my Practice Boot Camp special?

Pretty much no one teaches this stuff! Or at least, not enough people teach it. Knowing how to practice is a skill; it isn’t a talent, and it isn’t something that we’re born knowing (or not). It is a skill that can be learned and honed. And once you do, you’ll find your playing improve and your enjoyment of playing music increase. Not only that, but you’ll be able to apply it to other disciplines – cooking, sports, languages… Knowing how to practice is a transferrable skill, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that it could change your life.

If it’s really that good, why wait?

  • Initial questionnaire
  • Five sessions of 30 minutes, either in person or by Skype
  • A plan for future goals


Start today

Email me using the form below. I’ll be in touch within 24 hours with my questionnaire. Just fill it in, and I can start constructing your personal boot camp training plan.