Just when we thought COVID-19 was coming to a close the tragic death of George Floyd sent the nation on another tailspin. All things the things we had planned, including our routines, are gone. I know for me, practicing was one of those things to go. But, I’m back up and running again, and I wasn’t to share with you some ways I have been able to keep music alive and actually thrive musically during this time.
- Set a Time.
Habits are much more likely to stick if we assign a specific time to them. That includes practicing. I ended up choosing 6:00am because I’m a morning person. It might be totally different for you. The important thing is to commit to a time when you will practice. I even had to write it down to get myself to do it.
- Don’t Feel Like You Have to Practice For a Huge Amount of Time.
When I was getting my undergraduate in music there was one thought that always caused me to procrastinate. I would always think that I have to have a solid hour to get meaningful practice. This is pretty absurd considering I can’t focus on practicing for more than thirty minutes at the most. But, then I realized that I can get a large amount of a paper done in fifteen minutes, so there’s no reason that wouldn’t work for practicing. I was right. There isn’t any reason that doesn’t work for practicing. In fact, my practice sessions became at least twice as productive. So, practice as long as you can stay focused. And remember a week of practicing for fifteen minutes daily is head and tales better than a week with two one hour practice sessions.
- Set Some Goals.
You might be thinking, “Goal setting for practicing? You’re out of Mind.” I may be out of my mind, but trust me this works. My voice professor in college had every one of her students create a rehearsal schedule for the entire semester. This schedule was the full package. It was complete with what songs we were going to work on with her each week, and milestones we wanted to reach each week. Did I think it was stupid at first? Yes. Is it now my favorite tool for practicing? Yes.
So, next time you practice take a few seconds to think where you want to be by the end of the week and commit to getting there. If you don’t make it, don’t sweat it. You’re probably further along than you would have been if you hadn’t set some goals.
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