Making Music Practice Fun And Productive

What is the most constructive way to approach your practice routine?  Here are some helpful hints!

Folowing the signs to fun music practice
Follow these directions to have fun Practicing

Just like music lessons themselves, music music practice fun and productive should be a goal!  The concept of how we as students practice may not be completely apparent, but in keeping good pacing, variation, and constructive practice techniques, you can make your daily practice a fun experience to look forward to.
Start with a quick warm up
Like athletes, musicians need warm-ups too!  If you are a trumpet player, you need to get air moving through the instrument, and if you are a pianist, you need to get your fingers moving.  So why start practice without a quick warm up as well?  Pick a scale, or a short exercise to start with in every practice session, so that when you start working on a piece of music or any part of your practice assignments, you and the instrument are ready.  However, you don’t have to spend a ton of time warming up each time you practice.  Sometimes just spending a couple of minutes getting centered helps you have a much better practice session!
Pick sections to work on instead of the entire piece
Even if the goal is developing continuity for a performance, picking sections of difficulty or trouble in the pieces you are working on is much more productive than running the entire piece each time it is practiced to get to the difficult area.  Spend time isolating a small difficult passage and work on that exclusively until it feels comfortable.  Then, you can bring it into a larger section.  Dividing up your pieces in this way actually saves you practice time too!  You spend more time working out the challenges and less on the parts that are already comfortable.  When you feel the progress you’ve made in such a shortened time, you feel productive in your practice, which makes it more fun.
Pick a daily practice time
Sometimes we don’t have time to practice every day, and that’s okay!  However, setting a good schedule or certain times designated as your practice time can be a motivating factor to spend more time with your instrument.  You will see yourself progressing much faster with set practice times, and in spending time with your instrument, you a developing a bond and a way to enjoy it and the music you produce.  Some students, like me, enjoy practicing sporadically throughout the day, and that’s fine too!  In a way, that is a set practice time, because you have the instrument to approach freely for several minutes at a time, and together, this equals consistent practice.
Add song variation – Making Music Practice Fun
If you are really into a piece and dedicated to working on it for a long stretch of time, that is wonderful, and it shows that you are really into the practice you are doing and the goal you would like to achieve. We all have experienced a practice lull, though.  Maybe it’s a song we’re just stuck on or don’t like as much as other pieces.   It’s okay to leave it for a bit and switch to something new, in fact, I would even encourage it.  Keep the variation going, and work on something you enjoy as a break.  When you feel you are playing a song you like and play well, it motivates you to return to a challenge.  Plus, again, you are getting to have fun practicing your instrument!
In Conclusion 
It’s just as important to keep your practice sessions lively and fun as it is to have great experiences during your weekly music lessons.  Good practice habits enrich the experience of learning an instrument, so examine your current routine and see if there is a way to make it even more enjoyable.
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One thought on “Making Music Practice Fun And Productive

  1. Sometimes, for me, getting students the music they want entails me transcribing a particular pop song for them, that involves a lot of decisions for me about trying to be true to the original melody so the students can play along with the track (key, rhythm, register, etc) or transpose the piece to an easier key and with a simplified rhythm which will enable them to play it more easily. Sometimes giving them a very difficult transcription which is clearly beyond their current abilities is an excellent motivator, and sometimes it isnt, every student is a unique individual who responds to a wide range of positive or negative reinforcements- some will rise to the challenge and work their butts off to be able to conquer the piece and some will curl up in a little tearful ball and quit. One parent came up with an excellent motivator for her daughter (who was a very commercially minded girl), she paid her $5 for every day that she practiced on her own for 30 minutes or more- but at the end of the week the child had to pay for her lesson herself. Pretty quickly the student realized that if she practiced 7 days a week she would be turning a $10 profit weekly, and promptly doubled her efforts at home. Everyone is different, and part of our job as teachers is learning what makes each pupil tick, and helping them develop good discipline which will reward them with a wealth of achievements, both in music and life. This is the way we do it at my studio, anyway…

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