Sometimes it can be difficult to stay motivated and excited about practicing, especially during this time of year–coming off of a vacation, getting back into the swing of things, spring gig season entering into the picture faster than we realize.
In looking for some inspiration to kick off the new year’s practicing sessions the right way, it’s time to ask yourself why you are practicing. To be the best! (obviously) Below are the steps to take in order to reboot your practice sessions and be on your way to achieving your best!
Step 1: Make A List
If you had to list the top 5 characteristics of THE BEST playing you have ever heard, what would they be? There are a lot of different choices here and each person’s answer is going to depend on their own experiences of playing their instrument and the performances they have heard.
Step 2: Journal
Once you have identified the 5 qualities you have noticed in the playing you wish to emulate, journal about them. Why did you list that particular quality? What is your own philosophy on that particular aspect of playing? Spend 5 minutes free-writing about each of your 5 listed elements.
Step 3: Take Action!
Once you have finished writing, read it back to yourself. Reflect on what method books, warm up routines, exercises, styles of practicing, and mentors might best match each of your focused elements of playing. Now it’s time to build your new routine. Make a list of exercises for each of the 5 elements (don’t forget sight singing, listening and score study!). Think of players who embody each of those playing characteristics–listen to their recordings, reach out to them for a lesson. Ask friends and colleagues to help add to your specialized 5-characteristic database of resources. Get in the practice room and track practice sessions based on each of your 5 categories. Take action!
Below is a snapshot of my practice routine reboot. What 5 categories did you choose? Comment below!