Learning to play an instrument has many excellent perks, and maintaining a practice schedule is vital for increasing musical skills. Whether your goals are to improve your playing, build muscle memory, and/or understand the pieces better, setting aside a selected time of your day to practice should be scheduled. Unfortunately, there can be many distractions around to keep you from your practice routine, which can be demotivating.
Here are some tips to help you stick to your goals:
Daily practice sessions might be hard to maintain, but scheduling a few sessions throughout your week can be easy. Have a look at your practice schedule and map out what days and times work for you. You might see that a morning practice will work for you one day, and practicing at night will work another. Keeping your routine flexible will help you look forward to practicing when the time comes. Set timers or alarms to remind you.
Stick to an outline, as it can be beneficial when scheduling your routine. Knowing what to practice and on what days to do it will help you achieve your goals for the week. You will be able to see what tasks require more time than others, and that will help in the scheduling process.
Life can be unpredictable, and scheduled plans don’t always have to be set in stone. Leaving a day here and there for a backup session is a wise choice in case something interferes with your practice. Take a look at your overall schedule for the week and try to leave space to spend any time making up for the lost practice time.
Keeping up with your music lessons will make the practicing aspect easier because you know what you’re supposed to be practicing. Try to ensure that you are not scheduling your practices directly after a lesson so you won’t feel burnt out. Online music lessons are beneficial when working your practices into your busy schedule. Lessons can assist in strengthening your dedication to practicing, as you’ll want to share all your progress with your teacher.
Make sure you don’t overwork yourself while you practice your instrument. Other musicians may tell you that you should dedicate all of your time toward practicing, but that’s a bit extreme. Hard work and dedication are required, but so is rest. You won’t be able to retain anything or play any better if you are exhausted. Incorporating breaks into your practice schedule will aid in maintaining the required energy for regular practice time.
Sorting out a practice space designed for your music practice schedule is a must. Whether it’s outdoors or indoors, having a positive place for you to warm up, do some musical exercises, and work on your playing is essential. Practice in a quiet and peaceful area, as it can be less distracting and more comfortable for you. Feel free to change up where you practice once in a while; it adds different stimulation.
In an article by NPR, they suggested making sure you have the proper supplies nearby in your practice space, such as a pencil, paper, and eraser to make notations on the sheet music. Other accompaniments such as a tuner for the instrument, music stand, metronome, etc., should be in this space as well.
You know yourself pretty well, meaning you know exactly what type of things usually distract you. Any student of music can be distracted by mobile devices, TV, friends, games, etc. The big distractors in your life can take away valuable time honing your skills. When it’s music practice time, make sure these distractions are locked away where they can’t tempt you. You’ll find that focusing your attention on learning will be easier when you aren’t checking your phone every five minutes.
Trying to keep your instrument close by instead of packing it away after each practice session can be helpful as you might find that the sudden spark of inspiration ignites, and you’re overcome with the sudden urge to play. It can happen at any time of the day, so create a specific spot to have your instrument ready in case inspiration calls.
Mapping out your musical goals per practice schedule is a great way to organize and prioritize what you want to work on. It will make each session productive and provide a sense of direction to follow on your musical journey.
Log your progress
We forget things very easily in our lives. Keep a journal or organizer and follow it so you’ll always have a sense of what is to come next and where to make any adjustments if necessary. Logging your progress is also a motivation booster, as you’ll be able to look at a physical representation of how much you have been progressing. Adding notes about pieces you are working on or ideas for your own songs is useful for all musicians.
It is okay to create challenges for yourself when setting your goals during a practice routine. These challenges can encourage you to work harder, stay dedicated and most importantly, create a fun atmosphere during your practices. Remember not to be hard on yourself if you don’t meet these challenges or goals, as it might just discourage you. Maintain a healthy and fun atmosphere while you pursue these goals and challenges.
Your music practice schedule can be a mentally and physically draining routine. It doesn’t hurt to reward yourself with a treat whenever you reach a goal. While this may appear as bribing yourself, it can be effective in inspiring you to work toward your goals. Planning things like a night out, seeing a show, or indulging in your favourite food or snack are great rewards to give yourself.
As we stated above, practice is a very important aspect of furthering your music career, and it is paramount to create a proper practice routine. Look into the Academy of Music for any answers to questions you have, and/or sign up for the many classes offered that will add to the betterment of your music skills. This way, we can help you harness all your musical talents and assist with your musical journey.