As we slowly re-group and get back to our routine, we want to share some valuable tips to make the best out of your practice time! These tips are helpful for anyone who plays an instrument or sings.
Friday, February 16th
1. Find somewhere quiet
Practicing in a quiet place will prevent you from surrendering to all sorts of distractions, but creating a particular practice area, whether it’s a specific room or just a corner of the living room, will help prepare you mentally for your practice.
Keep in mind conscious intention is everything, and having the ritual of going to the same place every time can help set that intention.
2. Have your supplies nearby
Have everything you need nearby — this includes your musical instrument, music sheets, pencil and paper, water bottle, and more.
Simple, right? But those little things are easy to forget, and if you have to go searching for them, they add up to a big waste of valuable practice time.
3. Have a goal for each practice session before playing
Just playing through your music isn’t the same thing as practicing. So before you start, think: What do I want to accomplish today? If you’re not sure what you need to focus on, ask your teacher for a few concrete goals to work toward before the next lesson — and write them down so that you can refer to them during your practice sessions.
4. Map a practice session out like a workout
Many musicians start with a few basic stretches and breathing exercises before picking up their instruments. Start with scales as a warm-up to loosen up your muscles and get your brain thinking about technique; move on to the “working” part where you analyze and try to solve problems; then cool down by improvising or revisiting some music you already know well.
5. Practice smarter, not necessarily longer
You’ll probably accomplish a whole lot more in a short amount of time if you have a very focused objective. So, make the most of the time you have. Start with what you need to work on the most and break it down into even smaller and more manageable bits; chances are it will be much easier the next time around.
6. Reward hard work — in positive ways — to help your brain automate good habits.
That sounds like out-and-out bribery, but again, science! Finding something that your brain likes helps it remember the “habit loop,” writes Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit.
This article is a re-post, with minor modifications, of “10 Easy Ways To Optimize Your Music Practice,” an article published on npr.org by Anastacia Tsioulcas.