Three Things Practice Routine Piano Pages   William Wieland
The goal is to perform a troublesome passage well three times in a row. Find three small objects, e.g. pencils, coins, or jewelry. Place them to the right of your music. Play the troublesome passage. If you play it well, grab one of your little objects with your right hand, give it to your left hand and place it to the left of your music. (This ensures that both of your hands leave your instrument.) Play the troublesome passage again. If you play it well, move another object from right to left as before. If you do not play it well, return the first object to the right. Play the troublesome passage until all three objects are on the left. If you do not play it well, return all objects to the right. (When you have played it well twice, your anxiety will rise a little at the prospect of starting over. This is a bit like stage fright.) Next, practice another troublesome passage—gradually moving your objects from the left back to the right. Use this routine on troublesome passages at least daily until they are no longer troublesome.

Maintain high standards. In order to play a troublesome passage well three times in a row, consider the following:
  • Practice brief, musical passages, e.g. a motive or a phrase.
  • Practice slowly.
  • Practice hands alone if necessary.
  • Perhaps focus on one element, e.g. pitch, rhythm, articulation, or dynamics.
  • Aim for excellence, not perfection. No one is perfect.
This routine is from Jim MacInnes, an outstanding musician and educator.