Today we’re talking with Dr. Jonathan Harnum, whose PhD research was focused on the topic of music practice. Dr. Harnum studied how a wide variety of musicians think about and execute practice to be able to reach such high levels of ability.

The result of Dr. Harnum’s research is a book called The Practice Of Practice, which we strongly recommend checking out. “The Practice of Practice” is a highly-readable treasure trove of all the latest ideas, understanding, techniques and insights on what makes for effective music practice and how you can learn better and faster.

From a classical upbringing to an exciting 2-year road-trip of discovering improvisation, Jonathan Harnum’s own musical journey is fascinating! We were excited to have the chance to speak with him and share some of the ideas from “The Practice of Practice” to inspire and accelerate your music learning.

If you heard our recent interview with Gregg Goodhart on the topic of practice then you’ll find this is a beautiful counterpoint. Although the broad topic is the same, this is a very different conversation – but similarly packed with insights and nuggets that can pay off for your own music practice.

In this conversation you’ll hear about:

  • A simple way to reframe how you think about difficult things which can immediately transform frustration and helplessness into empowered eagerness.
  • The neurological research which proves that watching live music can be a highly valuable form of practice too.
  • How “guerilla practice” can help you fit in genuinely effective music practice even amid the busiest of lives.

You’re going to really enjoy Dr. Harnum’s insights on improvising, creativity, broadening the idea of what music practice can be, and some of the very specific actionable ideas he shares along the way.

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Author of "The Practice Of Practice", Dr. Jonathan Harnum shares results from his PhD research on how high level musicians practice to achieve their skill.