Nottelmann Music St. Louis

A Visualization Hack to Get More Out of Your Mental Practice

From tennis great Billie Jean King to pianist Glenn Gould, imagery has long been a staple of athletes’ and musicians’ bag of practice tools.

When visualizing, a general rule of thumb is that you want whatever it is that you’re imagining, to be pretty close to the actual real-life experience that you are working towards. The same sounds, the same kinesthetic sensations, the same visuals.

Take tempo, for instance. If it normally takes you about 13 minutes to play the first movement of the Mendelssohn violin concerto, the visualized version should probably take about 13 minutes too. And if you blaze to the finish line in 3 minutes, you know something is a bit off.

But when it comes to regular physical practice, we don’t always practice or play things in real time. Lots of folks swear by slow practice. And some even advocate for practicing things faster than you’d ever play them in performance too.

So…could there be any benefit to doing super slow or super fast mental practice as well?

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