Skip to main content

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

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Principles of Sowing and Reaping for the Suzuki Parent: 5 Steps to Beginning Suzuki Success by Preparing the Soil

Last school year, I started a group of 4-5 year old students in a pre-twinkle cello class. One mother actively ignited her daughter Ella’s interest in the cello before enrolling in the program. Over the course of a few months, she helped Ella prepare to engage in a new learning process. They observed lessons, listened to cello music, talked about the cello, and actively built Ella’s excitement - all before starting lessons.

This experience allowed me to see how much a parent can cultivate their child’s interest, motivation, and readiness. It gave me a new appreciation for the parents’ role in preparing young children for a positive Suzuki experience.

Here are five ways to prepare the soil to help your child succeed in a Suzuki experience.


1. Build Your Knowledge

Parents are integral to the success of the Suzuki process. If you start a young child in a Suzuki program, your role as a parent will be very active. Your knowledge and education about the Suzuki method and philosophy helps y…

The Private Teaching Business Model

Over my years of teaching I've come across a wide variety of interpretations about the private teaching business model.  I feel that this is a natural result of the type of society we live in.  Many services these days are either "subscriptions" or "appointments."  For example, a gym membership is a subscription.  You pay a monthly fee to use the facility at any time during their hours of operation.  A doctor's visit or a haircut is an "appointment."  You call ahead to set up a time, you show up and then pay after the services have concluded.

With most services falling into one of these two categories, most people try to rationalize music lessons as one or the other.  However, music lessons are neither subscriptions or appointments.  They are actually a combination of both if the business entity is going to be successful.

The reasons why this hybrid business model occurs are:

1)  The service itself is centered around personal attention (appointmen…

Martial Arts and Music

I remember a few years ago I was having a conversation with one of my adult students about martial arts and music.  I always looked forward to my conversations with this student because she happened to be a fabulous Montessori teacher and founded what ended up being one of the biggest Montessori schools here in San Diego.  So she was this wealth of knowledge and it was such a privilege for me to be able to "pick her brain" from time to time.

Going back to the conversation, she observed that music and martial arts work really well together because they both required the same type of focus.  I have practiced martial arts for almost ten years so this is an opinion I have had for a long time but it surprised me to hear it coming from someone else.

Both music and martial arts revolve around the idea of a focused body and mind.  Teaching an extremely young student how to keep their instrument in place for one Twinkle is more mental training rather than physical.  Holding a light …