Let’s face it. As we move from childhood to adulthood, the time we have to do things we want becomes limited. For people who play music, this becomes even more frustrating. But, what if we told you, there is a way to practice while trying to manage your busy schedule. It it comes down to is diligence. Here is our list on how to make time to practice your instrument.
1. Create A Schedule
The average person spends 5 hours per day watching TV. And the average musician practices 3-4 hours per day. Of course, everyone’s situation is different, but judging by these statistics, setting aside 1 hour for practice shouldn’t be too hard.
It’s surprising how many people don’t make schedules. It sounds very “businessman-like” but, there is a reason why companies love schedules.
A simple schedule will help you figure out what time you should be practicing… Rather than watching reruns of “Friends” for the 100th time.
A schedule will not only help you organize your practice time but will help you organize other commitments.
2. Practice during Lunch
For those who are busy with work, practicing during lunch break is an efficient way to get practice time in.
Depending on the instrument there are a few ways to do this. For example, smaller instruments such, as a flute, practicing in your car can be a viable solution.
If you don’t have a car and don’t mind being vulnerable to the public, practicing outside is also a great choice. You might even make a couple of friends.
But, this only works for portable instruments. Although you could carry a keyboard with you, there isn’t an outlet to plug it in, unless it ran off of batteries.
3. Go To The Studio
Depending on the instrument, this might be necessary. If you are the type that gets distracted easily, the studio is the perfect place to practice.
When you walk in a studio, there are zero distractions; it’s only you and your instrument.
We know going to the studio can be a pain, but the point is to make the most of your practice time.
If you have a loud instrument a studio allows you to play at full power without any compromises. And there’s nothing worse than trying to rush home from work (or school), to get practice time in before it becomes too late in the evening.
4. Study Your Sheet Music
When you are on your phone watching YouTube, how about taking some of that time to review your sheet music?
Even if you don’t have your instrument with you, that doesn’t mean you can’t practice in other ways. Studying your sheet music beforehand will help you get familiarized with the music.
When practicing, try to say the notes aloud to help retainment. Eventually, you will be able to read notes faster and improve your sight-reading.
4. Finger the keys
This technique is perfect for those who want to play late at night, but are unable, due to living conditions.
Simply, grab your instrument and practice by only touching the keys. This is a great alternative for wind instrument players.
However, this only a complement for practicing. For example, learning the fingering for a flute piece is important, but if you don’t practice breathing techniques, your sound won’t improve.
We only recommend this practicing technique for improving fingering muscle memory.
5. Listening to songs
Listening is just as important as playing. By listening to other renditions of songs you are learning will help with improving your speed, rhythm, dynamics, and technique.
You can take it a step further, and combine this with previous techniques.
For example, while listening to a song, try to play along only by fingering the keys. Or follow along with the sheet music.
All of these techniques are great for making the most of your practice time. But, some of these techniques aren’t meant to replace REAL practice.
This is a way to complement your practicing. The best way to improve your playing is by playing your instrument.
If you’re able to make a schedule that works well for you, then improving won’t be a problem.
And if you are serious about improving your playing, then you will make time to practice.