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The Practice Week

Let's talk about "the week."  The week is a very different concept from "a day."  It boils down to this: the week is planned, a day is not.

The concept of a day is finite and irregular.  A day activity is something spur-the-moment.  You know vaguely that you will eat meals.  Maybe some of the meals are planned, maybe some are not.  What you ate "that day" may be different from what you ate the day before.  Maybe something came up at the last minute that made you change your mind about dinner plans.

Day activities are flexible and changing.

The week is your schedule.  Certain things like work or school must be planned by the week.  You work from 9-5 Monday through Friday so you plan around that.  Weekly activities are not spur-the-moment.  Weekly classes, for example, are something that you are paying for so other less important activities move around this weekly class.

Weekly activities are regularly occurring and change less frequently.  They are planed and you usually stick to the plan.

Most people plan for their private lessons.  They don't plan for practicing.  Practicing gets shoved into a day activity that may or may not occur.  In order to make consistent headway on an instrument, you really need to look at your practice week.

This means schedule in practice time.  Have it be as permanent as school or work.  Sorry-you-can't-be-there-at-that-time-because-you're-practicing kind of permanent.  If doing this every day is too much right now, practice every other day or even just three times a week.  What matters is that the time you set aside for practicing always happens.

Having a consist practice week takes loads of pressure off the practicing day.  It doesn't matter if you get to this project or that project that day because you already know when you'll have time to get to it.  Practicing no longer feels rushed or crammed due to the fact that you're trying to get everything done right now.

Consistency is key.  It's way better to practice three times a week, every week of the year than it is to have two really good practicing weeks and then nothing for a month.  The former leads to progress, the later leads to frustration.

Comments

  1. Hi, Danielle...I love your blog which I just discovered.

    I have one quibble. You recommend practicing every other day if they can't do it every day. I like to encourage students to try and practice on consecutive days when they can...the continuity of practicing really catches on when you do that...the thought processes have easier follow-up and there is less backsliding.

    Keep posting! I'm sending your top post to my Suzuki parents. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Lisa! Always glad to connect with new people =)

      I do completely agree about practicing every day. It's a standard I do set for my own students. This particular post was more aimed at the students who have completely fallen off the practicing bandwagon. For whatever reason they stopped practicing and they're just having a hard time getting back into a routine.

      What I've found is they are often overwhelmed. They haven't practiced in so long it seems overwhelming to start again. When this happens my first priority is to get them to start thinking and planning around practicing again. Hence, "the week."

      But you're completely correct. There's no replacement for doing something every day.

      Delete

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