In a recent interview, Melvyn Tan discusses some useful advice about practicing.
What was the best advice you were given? What I eventually learned to do from my lessons was to divorce myself from the music, because sometimes you’re so involved in the music that you don’t know what it sounds like from out there. One way to find out how it sounds is to record yourself – and then of course you’re horrified by what it sounds like. But another way is to learn how to practise. A lot of students don’t really know how to practise. The way to practise, I think, is to really listen to yourself, but in a very analytical way. So you almost don’t think of the musical emotions in the piece, but you’re thinking of being able to project each note, thinking about why the composer wrote certain sequences of notes. And then you apply it to a much bigger canvas, you apply the colour and then emotions – and that is a long process.