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How Not to Practice

"Every day I practice one hour more than the day before." 

This is what my soon-to-be best friend told me upon meeting her at orientation for music school.  I was shocked, because as we know, time is limited and there are only 24 hours a day.  Plus she was still finishing up high school - which takes up 7ish of those 24 potential practice hours.

After hearing what my competition would be like in college I was dismayed at my own 30 mins or so of practicing and was determined to practice more and harder.

That being said, I completely burnt myself out on music in school - trying to practice 8-10 hours a day. My love of playing was gone.  My progress was meek and I was questioning my musical path entirely.

After college,  my desire for playing came back, but it was creeping back not through classical music, but through improvisation, composition and learning fiddle music and styles from around the world.  I took what I learned and started writing...

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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...
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