Practicing the Self

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Department 1

Conservatory of Music

Department 2

Africana Studies


In music, the term "practicing" is usually contrasted with "playing." We practice scales to help us play composition, and we practice pieces so that we can perform them well. But it's interesting to think about the work in a different way. The Oxford English Dictionary defines practice as the "actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it." We say that doctors "practice medicine," or we say that lawyers "practice law." I like to think of my musical practice as the sum total of everything i do musically. And because I can't separate music from other parts of my life, maybe everything I do is "musical practice." [excerpt]



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