I have always been a big believer in teaching my students how to practice, not just what to practice. Since the start of the shut down, this conversation has come up more than ever before.
Music is a lot like fitness. Consistency is much more important than perfection. There is no end date - it's something you will keep getting better at as long as you don't stop (and even if you stop, you can start again!).
Whether you are continuing private lessons, keeping up with school work, or even just picking up that dusty guitar for the first time, here are three quick tips for how to keep up your practice during quarantine.
Schedule time to practice. Whenever I start a new student, one of the first assignments I give is to experiment with practicing at different times throughout the day and let me know which one is their favorite. This isn't just for kids, though. I put my practice sessions right in my calendar (my favorite time to practice is first thing in the morning). Even if it's just ten minutes a few days a week, planning ahead is a great step towards getting into (or back into) a routine.
Set a goal that you know you can hit. For many people, this isn't a time to shoot for lofty goals. This is a time to shoot for slow and consistent progress. One of my students was really struggling to find the motivation or the energy to even pick up their instrument. The first goal we set? Pick up your instrument. Every day. Play it if you want. That's it.
Play music you love. This connects to tip number two. Should I be working on scales, arpeggios, double stops, and seven different bowing exercises today? Technically, yes...but playing Beatles songs makes me happy. So maybe I'll just do that today. Make it a priority to play music that you enjoy every time you practice. It doesn't matter what the genre is. You've got time to hit all your goals, and finding joy in music might be the more important one right now.
Nothing groundbreaking here, but many of my students have found them useful nonetheless! Learning a musical instrument can be hard to make sense of, even in the best of times. If you ever have feel overwhelmed or have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me!