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Practice Tips for Adults

 Today I wanted to give you some practical tips for practicing as an adult.
As an adult, there is no one telling you "go practice" except your own brain (and then there's the other part of the brain that says "let's watch Netflix instead.")
I've been experimenting with practice habits for years and here's what I've come up with that is the most universally relevant my students:
  • Leave the fiddle out of the case and ready to go. If at all possible, have the  fiddle available in a safe place (away from pets, heating or a/c vents, etc)
  • Practice in the morning. Five minutes before you go to work can perk up your day and inspire you to pick it up later on.
  • Get rid of practice streaks. Humans love doing things consecutively in terms of habits. We like to accomplish practicing EVERY day, which is great until life happens and we don't play. Instead of trying to make an endless streak of practice days work on the skill of getting right back to it after an off day.
  • Avoid practicing for long amounts. Numerous studies have shown that 20 minutes of focused practice is better than an hour of playing. If you practice for an hour your brain does not do well with the second set of 20 minutes. Practice for 20 minutes and if you feel like practicing more take a break before you do it.
  • If there's pain, stop immediately. You are an athlete of the hands (and upper back, shoulders and neck). These muscles take time to develop so make sure you listen to your body and take lots of breaks as needed!
Let me know what is working for YOU or if you have any surefire practice tips you'd like to add.
Happy Practicing!

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