To flow or not to flow? Optimal experience in music practice

February 9, 2017

Have you ever wondered how you could make your practice more enjoyable and use flow to help you get better?


Here is a fragment from my e-book Music Practice Decoded. The psychology of getting brilliant in music explaining the basics of the state of flow:


Optimal experience appears whenever a pursued activity is its own reward. The synonymous term 'autotelic experience' comes from the Greek words 'auto', meaning 'self', and 'telos', standing for 'goal' or 'purpose'. The phenomenon is also sometimes referred to as 'being in the Zone' and in such cases usually linked to the individual's 'Element' – a favorite activity which one feels passionate about and competent at. When in 'the Zone', one becomes focused and intent, completely lost in the experience; one lives in the present moment and performs at his or her peak as well. Pursuing the beloved activity does not warrant being in the Zone every time, though. Optimal experience occurs when a few, specific requirements are met and, most essential of all, when one reaches the state of flow.


Flow is the state which improves the quality of an experience by bringing deep enjoyment. After an enjoyable event an individual knows that he or she has changed, become more complex, that his or her self has grown. A person can gain control over the quality of experience by learning how to build enjoyment into the happenings of daily life. So, if a musician wants to improve the quality of practice, learning how to achieve flow and using this knowledge in practice is a means to accomplishing this.


If this sounds good to you, remember to focus all your attention on whatever you're doing when you practice - listen to your sound, be aware of your posture and breathing, concentrate on the score... And in the case you'd like to learn more about improving your music practice in simple, effective ways, read Music Practice Decoded. Here you can get a free sample:


To learn more about flow in general, I highly recommend reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's masterpiece Flow. The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Without doubt it's one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read!


Focus, flow, and enjoy your practice :-)




Please reload

Recent posts

November 18, 2017

May 31, 2017

Please reload

Please reload