The following advice is authored by Gerald Klickstein,  professor at the North Carolina School of Arts, and was presented to ASTA, the American String Teachers Association. If you have pain or stress in practice or performance, his advice will be helpful.

"Seven Habits for Healthy Performance"
1. Manage your workload
    limit total paying time; increase playing time gradually
    plan you practice; schedule multiple shorter sessions; avoid long sessions
    regulate hand-intensive, non-musical activities (computer use)
    transport heavy instruments without straining
    arrive early for rehearsals and performances; be focused and warm
2. Warm up & cool down
    before playing, raise body temperature with warm clothing, whole-body            movements
    play moderately at first; incrementally increase speed, volume, intensity
    after playing, avoid hand-intensive tasks; give muscles time to rest
3. Cultivate technical ease
   sit or stand with balanced flexibility (avoids rigidly held positions)
    position instruments for maximum physical advantage
    play (and type) with joints in the middle of their ranges of motion
    minimize physical and mental effort; thing/feel/hear ahead while playing
    develop sensitivity to excess tension (refine overall physical coordination)
4. Practice mindfully
    clarify practice goals
    vary material (avoid excessive repetition)
    maintain awareness of musical content, physical movement, thoughts,              emotions
    enhance mental-practice skills
5. Take frequent breaks
    rest at least 10 minutes of each playing hour
    take breaks if tension arises or concentration falters
    short break (1-5 minutes); medium (5-15 min.); long (1/2 hr. or more)
    vary break activities: (active, passive, diverting)
    breaks activities should contrast with playing actions (avoid hand-intensive      tasks)
6. Respond to symptoms
    fatigue; stop playing, cool down, rest
    pain; stop playing, rest seek help (pain is never appropriate)
    cease playing before fatigue arises; rest ahead of playing
7. Put Wellness first
    be proactive
    manage stress & anxiety
    embrace sensible habits of nutrition, rest, exercise
    openly communicate about health issues

On Practice: Performance Health
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Lessons Top Page

The Blues
Building A Repertoire
Getting Started
Getting the Most Out of Your Lessons
How the Guitar Works
How to Practice A New Piece of Music
How Much Should Lessons Cost?
Barre Chord Success
Free Online Metronome
How to Build a Classical Guitar
Having a Career As A Classical Guitarist
How to Practice A New Piece of Music
Inspiration,Part 1: Role Models
Planning Practice Time
Poem: "My Son and His Guitar"
Nail Breaks
The Hierarchy of Left Hand Technique
Just Before You Perform, by David Leisner
Performance Anxiety
The Left Hand
I Played This Better At Home!
I'm Stuck in a Rut!
Inspriration, Part 2: Music Quotes
Jerry Snyder's How to Practice
Using the Metronome
Tremolo Technique
Speed in Arpeggios
The Right Hand
Seven Habits for
Healthy Performance, by Gerald Klickstein
What Makes a Flamenco Guitar?