As we get back into school schedules, especially as you go into higher grade levels, it can become trickier to get your practice time in around homework, activities, and everything else! Here are my top tips for making practice work when you’re busy:
- Have time “bookmarked” in your day for practice. For example, right after dinner or volleyball, or __ minutes before you start your homework. Having practice slotted into your day is much more efficient than trying to find time every single day.
- Take 2 minutes to consider what you want to accomplish in your practice each day. You could even do this in the car on the way home from your lesson: pencil in tentative goals for each day’s practice, and adjust as needed. (You’ll learn a lot from this too!)
- Consider splitting your practice. If you can, take 15 minutes in the morning to do most of your technique, or scales, or challenging sections of a piece. Then you don’t have the pressure of fitting EVERYTHING into your afternoon, and you have the satisfaction of following up on a practice day that’s already started well.
- Use the clock to your advantage. Instead of “trying to fill” a certain time block, see how many things you can get work on well in the time you have. Or, if you practice better with a set length of time, focus on how much you can do well within it and reward yourself with a “free play” time if you accomplish your goals.
- Something is better than nothing, and a little bit of consistent and focused time goes much farther than a cram session! If you wait till Saturday and then practice for two bours, you’ll overload your mind (and you’ll probably have already forgotten most of the important details from our lesson!) But even if you can only do a few minutes of focused practice a day, you can cement the most important or hardest things, and then build on those when you do have more time.
- Remember what you love. If you’re getting frustrated with your practice, talk to me about taking some lesson time to refresh your goals and preview music you want to play.
- Don’t forget to have fun! Rest and play are necessary for your mind to learn well! If you’re feeling consistently overloaded, talk to me or your parents about finding a solution.
Good luck and happy practicing!