Let’s Practice Together


A new year brings a new chance to commit to practice, so let’s practice together. After completing a rewrite and expansion of my 12 blog posts under the heading Classic Practice Corner, you might wonder why I’m writing yet another post on practice!

To be fair, many of those articles are only peripherally about practice, addressing other themes like theory, sight reading, and memory. I’m guessing most of you probably don’t even know about these posts. That’s okay; you’re busy. When you get a chance, visit my Teaching Posts page to learn more.

What Practice Looks Like for Me

My practice is going to look a lot different than yours because my goals are different. I have to prepare for weekly church services at First Methodist, so I schedule my practice for both instruments around the rehearsal and service time I spend in Bella Vista. That means my practice is not every day. When I do practice, it’s often for 2 to 3 hours per session.

How I Track My Practice

I use the free version of an app called Toggl, which allows me to track both how much and what I’m practicing. I also have a notebook to write details about my practicing, but some days I do that better than others. I’m also posting a practice summary online just for fun. I did this for the first 4.5 months of 2021, and hope to get farther this year!

What Works For You?

The best device is a simple silent timer. You can set it to countdown – ding, you’re done. Or, if you like practicing, use it to accumulate time instead. A watch or clock also work. Whatever you choose, make sure to write down how much you practice, at least for a week or two, until you get a pattern established. For intermediate to advanced students, having some type of notebook to notate what you did can be really useful.

In Conclusion

Even if you generaly like practicing, it can be difficult to establish it on a regular basis. Younger kids with routine schedules have it easier than pre-teens and teens with second instruments, afterschool activities, and demanding sports schedules. That’s why establishing when you can practice is so crucial. Let’s practice together so we’re well prepared before that next festival or recital arrives!

Last Updated 2022-01-04 | Originally Posted 2022-01-04

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