05 Jun 2015

Voice Lesson: Part 3 “Deliberate Practice” – Repeat, Repeat, Repeat…

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle


After I finished reading the bestselling book Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, I couldn’t wait to tell you what I learned.


This is why over the last two weeks I have been sharing some of his great advice with you!


Soooo, how’s the homework going? Click below to watch the video lesson… 



My goal is to help you reach the level of excellence that you desire. 

And, the way we use our practice time is one area that can control if and how we reach that level of excellence.


Links to Lessons 1 and 2


In case you missed the last couple of weeks…here’s a quick recap…


Week 1: Recorded a baseline of the time spent practicing


Week 2: Designed a plan to specifically improve performance


This Week’s Strategy


And this week’s “deliberate practice” principle is… are you ready? 


“It can be repeated a lot.”


Just like last week’s lesson – don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the statement.


The “it” and the how are the differentiating factors in the repetition.


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Putting It To Work


As you review your immediate steps, plan for performance improvement, now you can refine your choice to practicing the “it” while keeping the mental focus throughout the activity.


Staying in the learning zone while repeating is crucial.


Colvin states, “High repetition is the most important difference between deliberate practice of a task and performing the task for real, when it counts.” He goes on to share this example of Tiger Woods, “Tiger Woods may face that buried lie in the sand only two or three times in a season, and if those were his only opportunities to work on hitting that shot, he certainly wouldn’t be able to hit it very well.”


The same is true for us…


So what to we do… how can we really apply this to our work?



Photo Credit: Mike Huang on Flickr
Photo Credit: Mike Huang on Flickr


How I Am Using Repetition In My Practice


If I am wanting to bring more awareness around a lifted soft palate and relaxed tongue, I have to do the slow work to build that into my muscle memory, starting first with a simple vowel and in an easy part of my range. Repeating it until I get the feeling and visual results I desire. Then I’ll move up and down the range  – repeating the notes – always with the focus of lifted soft palate and the relaxed tongue. Then I’ll transition to different vowels. Eventually, I will add in consonants, observing how they engage the tongue and soft palate, and finally working this awareness into a song. I could easily spend three months on this topic alone. But when I go to perform my song… do you think I will know where my tongue and soft palate need to be for the result that I want. Absolutely. Goal accomplished. And this type of practice – compounds its returns – for the next song I pick up, it will be easier for me to find the ease and alignment that  I want.


“The most effective deliberate practice activities are those that can be repeated at high volume” says Colvin.


How will this principle shift your practice time this week?


Let me know how it goes!

And always Rejoice In Your Voice™!

xoxox, Tricia


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