Distractions can be a battle when learning an instrument. Whether you are a music instructor or practicing at home, you need to find methods to beat distractions in order to improve your playing skills.  

So how should you beat those distractions? 

Try following these steps: 

Many of those steps involve limiting visual distraction. This is because much of our learning depends on reading music. Reading music can be like learning a foreign language. It is important to be able to focus on every symbol on the page to succeed. 

Music teachers often use Focus Windows to prevent visual distractions. 

A Focus Window is a way of directing a student’s attention to a specific portion of the page. You can use Focus Windows to not only learn to read music but place attention only on a portion of a large picture, graph, map or chart.  

There are a few ways to construct the Focus Window. My favorite is to block out certain areas of the page using Post-It notes. This way, students can practice small pieces of the song at a time. As the student improves playing the song, you can expand the Focus Window to a larger section. 

A Focus Window also promotes curiosity. Students can be more motivated to learn sections of the song so they are able to discover more of the piece. 

Samuel Johnson says “Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.” Our natural tendency to be persuaded due to curiosity can improve practice sessions if used correctly. 

If you are a music instructor or learning an instrument, try incorporating a Focus Window into your practice routine. You could uncover the tricky problems that have been preventing you from improving your playing skills. 

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My name is Tatiana Cobos and I have been playing guitar for about 7 years. Ever since I can remember it always fascinated me the way the guitar looked, how it sounded, and the way you move your hands when you play the instrument. Along these 7 years I have had a few teachers. Some didn’t challenge me the way I wanted to be challenged and others had a different vision for me than that I had for myself. A couple of years ago we came across Music Flow. At the end of the first lesson I felt more connected to the guitar and to music. My instructor challenges me and shows me new concepts that I couldn’t even image exist. Every Wednesday I cannot wait to go home from school and see my instructor and what he has in store for me. Music for me has become a place I can explore and have my own little bubble of creativity. I have found my love for the guitar and music, and I have no plan in stopping my lessons any time soon! I love Music Flow and what I have learned!

Tatiana Cobos, Music Flow Student