Updated: May 29, 2020
Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and ... practice! This is the best season to get ahead of your musical goals. Here are five tips to help:
1. Set a consistent practice time each day
Think about all of the things you do everyday: brush your teeth (hopefully!), eat dinner, etc. Set your practice time at the same time each day before or after one of these activities. For example, committing to practice right after breakfast will ensure that you'll always practice, no matter when you eat your first meal of the day (we know that summer days can call for some late mornings!).
2. Take the long view
With some extra time, now is your chance to really strategize and think about what you want to express through your interpretation. Are you inspired by a certain recording? Have you always wanted to create a new tone color through your instrument? Think critically about your point of view, and map it out so clearly that you can close your eyes and hear it in your mind's ear.
3. Set your goal and plan out how to reach it
It's important to have some major timeposts along your musical journey. Think about where you want to be in a month with your piece(s) and write it down to keep yourself focused and accountable when practicing. If you're headed to college in the fall, it's best to have a program memorized to present to your teacher when you arrive. This way, your lesson time will be optimized, and you can refine and nuance your point of view and musicality with your instructor.
4. Set a performance date
Get a recital date (or dates!) on the calendar to keep yourself motivated. In our current pandemic, consider inviting friends/family to a Google hangouts recital. Or, reach out to a local retirement community and see if you can invite residents to enjoy your performance via zoom. Or, broadcast via Facebook Live. The prospect of performance will help you keep your end goal in mind.
5. Have fun
Take the time to explore pieces that have been on your wishlist, even if they're not necessarily part of your core repertoire. Like a well-balanced diet, it's super important to explore diverse textures and sounds to keep your practice sessions fresh and expose you to different musical points of view.