April 9, 2015
Practicing Intelligently: How to Use Your Practice Time Efficiently
You need to practice your music and make the most of your time when you do. The only way you are going to improve your craft is through practice. You may only have an hour a day to practice (or less) so make the most of your time. Here are some tips to help you out.
Quiet is Key
It’s important that you go somewhere quiet. If you go anywhere loud, then it’s going to be hard to hear yourself think, let alone the music that you are producing. Whenever there are less distractions, you can be more efficient, and this is the intelligent way to practice your music. This may be in a park, in your bedroom, or somewhere else. Cut out as many distractions as possible so that you can focus on your music and nothing else.
Bring Your Supplies Close
Regardless of what instrument you play, there are going to be supplies that you need. This may be a metronome, an amplifier, a music book, or something else. If you are constantly leaving your practice area to go get the supplies that you need, you are not making the most of your time. By taking the time to write a list of everything that you need, you can take a few minutes before practice starts to gather everything and make sure it is close at hand. This will ensure that your practice time is spent practicing instead of gathering needed supplies.
You can cut out a lot of the time wasted during practice by utilizing technology. Smart phones can have a variety of apps downloaded to them. You can find a metronome, an equalizer, and various other supplies on your phone. When you minimize the clutter around your work area and still have everything that you need, you save time, which can then be spent on practice.
Map Out Your Practice Session
Just as you would map out a workout, you want to map out your practice session. Determine what you are going to do throughout the hour by having music already picked out. Make notes along the music as to what parts you are going to practice so that everything is streamlined for you. You may want to start with breathing exercises, then move into a few pieces that you already know in order to boost your confidence areas. From there, you can start working on the pieces that you are still learning.
If you are struggling with a certain piece, break it down like you would a science or math problem. Try it backwards, with a faster tempo, or something else in order to change it up. If you still can’t get it by the end of the practice session, make sure it’s the first thing that you do your next practice session. You may be surprised when you find out that it’s a whole lot easier to figure out than you originally thought.
Reward your Hard Work
If you reward yourself for a practice session that went well, your brain will equate practice with positivity. This means you are less likely to be upset the next time you have to sit down with your instrument. Your mind will look forward to these sessions, and you will get more out of it each time!
Practice can be a lot of fun and you can make the most out of it by working more intelligently. By having a plan, your practice session will end up accomplishing a whole lot more than it has in the past.