We had a Practice Design workshop with our Thrive members last month about articulating summer practice goals, being more effective in the practice room, how "results" are overrated… and how the illusion of time plays into consistency.
Everyone took their first attempt at making a practice design plan of their own in the 90-minute class. If you missed the Practice Design Worksheet, you can still download it! If you want individualized help, sign up here!
Here are 5 takeaways from the workshop:
Learn to break down larger goals. If the goal is to get better at technique, ask yourself: what are 3 smaller skills that make technique great? Perhaps they're air consistency, hand position and releasing finger tension. Once you've got those skills, think about exercises that will address them SPECIFICALLY and INTENTIONALLY! Don't just do a bunch of articulation etudes… get more specific!
Illusion of time If you were to practice 4 days a week all summer, that's 48 total sessions if you practice once a day. Now - you can get a lot done in that time, but you're probably thinking it's possible to learn 4 concertos, 3 new etude books, revamp your bow hold and do 40 other things because there's “so much time.” Not so fast - how are you going to divide your time in those 48 sessions?
The result is not your concern every day Pre-meditating how you'll measure and analyze if your plan is working is crucial. Maybe you'll record the same articulation etude every 2 weeks while you're doing detailed work on skills that will improve your articulation. However, the result can not be your concern each day. You have to obsess over the plan, trust the process and be consistent. And, keep track of what you're doing! Here's a spreadsheet you can use.
Sustainability In the end, the plan you make means nothing if it isn't sustainable. But - on the other side of that coin, you've got to realize that doing 60 or 70% of what you've set out to do is a HUGE success. Don't give up when you miss one day. Make your #1 concern getting back on the wagon and don't get into the all or nothing mindset of “I missed one day so I have to give up.”
Take a REAL break This summer, when you want to take a break, allow your mind to TRULY be in break mode. Don't let the “I should be practicing" cloud follow you. Just commit to some time off and be free! Then you'll be able to come back rested and refreshed - instead of feeling guilty.
Next month we're talking about your potential as a 21C performer including:
21c performance skills
cultivating freedom through understanding style
how to identify mentors and sponsors
how to create a successful portfolio career
If you'd like to join us, you can register for individual workshops, or become a Thriver. When you sign up to be a Thrive member, you'll get access to these workshops, new monthly video lessons as well as a library of wisdom that will help you… thrive!
Our first session next month is on June 3 with Nick Photinos, a founder and former cellist of eighth blackbird and now lecturer at Longy & Northwestern University.
p.s. The Thrive Membership Summer Session (May-Aug) is open until May 31. Use code MDW25 for 25% off and a 30-min consult!
p.p.s. Music360 serves young artists, emerging artists, experienced musicians and teaching artists at all levels. Whether you're in high school or have been in music for 60 years, we design programs - like Thrive -that support you through your current journey! Go to our website and look around!
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