Updated: Jul 29, 2022
So, you have made the decision to take music lessons! Now, how do you practice between lessons?
Because of the isolated nature of instrumental practice, it is important to develop a sense of self-discipline from early on. For the younger music students, it is not always easy to make the conscious decision to go practice.
This is when establishing a routine can be very useful. If they know they have blocked out a time of the day to practice, it is just a matter of setting a reminder/alarm for when it is time to practice and sticking to that time. In that way, they do not rely on their parents to remind them and they become responsible for their own learning.
I am often asked how many minutes and days a beginner music student should practice. As a teacher, I want to say "2 hours every day!" (duh) But that's not always possible. Below are some starting points for establishing a consistent and effective music practice routine.
6 Practice Strategies for the Beginner Musician
1. Create a Weekly Schedule
What days can you practice? How long can you practice? Write it on your schedule and commit to those days.
2. Split your Practice Time Into Smaller Time Intervals
30 mins-1 hour of practice is ideal for beginners. Take 5 min breaks halfway through your practice, if needed. 15 mins of practice a day is okay for young beginner music students.
3. Avoid Distractions
Our phones and other electronic devices can be distracting! Buy an alarm clock and set a timer at the start of your practice. Keep the devices away from the piano.
4. Read Lesson Notes
Always read your teacher’s notes before you practice to maximize the improvement from lesson to lesson. It’s likely that you will forget a lot of feedback that was given by your music teacher during the lesson if you don’t read the notes.
5. Practice in Chunks
Don’t just play from beginning to end over and over again! This is one of the most common mistakes when practicing on a music instrument. Work on the most difficult parts first and switch the order in which you practice sections. We love to play what we already know because it sounds good, but the parts that are wrong will always be wrong unless we take the initiative to fix them.
6. Sing Note Names
Singing the note names while you play will help improve your note-reading skills, aural skills and memorization.
Remember, practice doesn't make perfect (perfect doesn't exist)! - Good practice makes extraordinary playing.
I hope these strategies help in your musical journey!
Miami House of Creative Arts Team
Written By: Rosangel Perez
July 29, 2022
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