Practicing is hard work. That’s a fact, and there is no getting around it. Or is there?
Picture how your normal practice week goes by. You have a great lesson and feel like you understand everything you need to work on. Then you walk to the car, your mom or dad asks you how your lesson went, and by the time you get home you are so excited about eating dinner that you forget all about your lesson. Plus, you had a lesson today, so you don’t really need to think about music anymore.
The next day, you have a ton of homework and an activity after school. You get home and you see your instrument, but you think to yourself, ‘It’s late and I have so much to do. I had a lesson yesterday, so it’s ok if I skip practicing today. I will practice tomorrow.’
Three days later, you realize you still haven’t practiced. You finally decide to you sit down and play through your pieces. ‘What was I supposed to work on?’ you ask yourself. ‘It was so much easier in my lesson.’ You play through your pieces a few more times, but you get frustrated and quit a few minutes later. The next day you avoid practicing because it was so frustrating the day before.
Now it’s the day before your lesson, and you officially can’t wait any longer. Now you really can’t remember what you worked on in your last lesson and you barely remember your pieces. You keep playing all the way through the pieces, going faster each time, and somehow everything starts sounding worse than when you started. Maybe you’re just not any good at this…
You’re not alone. The problem is not that you aren’t good at music or that you can’t learn. The problem is that you don’t have a plan! You’re busy. And if you don’t know when and how you’re going to practice when your week begins, it’s probably just not going to happen. That’s why we have created these practices planners just for you:
With this planner, you will outline everything you want to accomplish musically in one week. For the best results, fill this out right after your lesson each week, so you can remember everything you worked on in your lesson. In addition to practice steps, it has places for you to plan the listening and sight-reading you want to complete each week. If you want help filling out your planner for the first few weeks, be sure to have your parents check out our article on helping you learn better so they know how to help you. And if you want more great practice ideas, head over to The Bulletproof Musician and subscribe: subscribing will give you a free download with 8 Practice Hacks, plus Dr. Noa Kageyama shares new posts about practicing and performing each week.
Do you have practice tricks that will help others? Share your practice experiences in the comment section below.