Your Own Music Routine
Practicing every day can be challenging! It’s easy to let a couple of days slip by without playing your instrument. Practicing only a couple times a week, however, doesn’t allow your brain to make the kinds of connections that results in real musical progress! Creating a practice routine is essential for long-term musical success.
Create a Good Practice Space
The practice environment can make all the difference in the world for helping a musician stay focused & get things done. The exact practice space will look different for each family, but several basics are universally important.
Low Traffic: The practice space doesn't have people or pets walking through constantly. If you have a piano or other hard-to-move instrument that has to be in a busy area of your home, consider scheduling practice periods when other people won’t be walking through the space as often.
All Supplies Right At Hand: In addition to the instrument, this means having a good quality music stand or piano bench, so the student can have optimal posture while practicing. Any music books or practice notebooks should also be stored close by, as well as a pencil for marking music. A metronome or tuner should also be right there. (Apps on the student’s phone are perfect for this, as long as the student doesn’t get distracted by other things on their phone.)
Well-Lit: The musician should be able to easily read their music.
Free From Distractions: TV screens or game consoles should be turned off during practice, if they’re in the same space. If phones or tablets aren't being used as practice tools,
Just stepping in to that practice space (sitting down at the piano, or putting music on the stand and opening the instrument case) can help a student focus on what they’re going to do!
For young children, it helps a lot to practice at the same time every day, so the child knows that music time is always right after snack, or before dinner, or another regular time that works for your family.
Older children in middle school or high school often have more complicated weekly schedules, so it’s helpful to sit down with them and talk together about what daily optimal practice times would be. Then the student can put those times in their phone calendar or to-do list, so their phone can help remind them when their practice should start!
Multiple Daily Practice Times are Great!
It’s actually good for any type of learning to do it in several smaller chunks instead of one big chunk! For young children, doing 5-10 minutes early in the day, and then another short practice stint later in the day, is ideal. For older students, doing two or three 20 to 30 minute practice sessions is great! In addition to being ideal for learning, these shorter practice sessions are easier to fit into busy schedules. You can even use music practice as homework breaks, which also helps with breaking up homework sessions into more productive smaller chunks!
We hope a few of these ideas can help you build your own ideal practice environment in your own home. Happy practicing!
For more information or to sign up for lessons you can contact Marion Music Academy at 319-377-3343, or click here to sign up for a free trial lesson.