You’ve been practicing for hours, looking at the same measure of music until you start to go cross eyed. Feeling as if you could pull your hair out, you try and play the section again for what seems like the hundredth time, only to make a mistake somewhere else. At this point you’re starting to really hate your instrument. The freedom from your certain situation seems ever so inviting. Does this scenario seem familiar? Perhaps you’re a victim of “Practice Room Panic.”
Practice Room Panic can be best described as the frustration you experience when over practicing your instrument. There is such a thing as “too much practice” no matter how much your traditional music educator might try to deny it. More practice does not always equal better practice. In fact, it can hurt more times than help, and has been known to do so. How can you practice more efficiently, and gain better results? Here are a few tips that might help:
- Find somewhere quiet to practice
It’s no secret that distractions can lead to an unsuccessful practice session. To really be productive in practice, try and find a place where you won’t be impacted by outside interruptions. We suggest maybe going into your room with the door closed if at home, or even a music practice room if you have access to it.
- Don’t skip warm- ups
You wouldn’t run a marathon without stretching before, right? Practicing an instrument should be the same way. In order to get the most out of your practice time, its encouraged to take your time working on scales and rhythm exercises first. This is especially important for vocalists. Launching into big songs without warm ups can be harmful to vocal cords.
- Long Practice < Short Practice
Many people seem to think the longer you practice, the more successful you will be at your instrument. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The person who practices 30 minutes a day is usually more successful than the person who practices for 2 hours a day. Excessive practicing for long stretches at a time results in more mistakes and even instrument burnout.
- Play something for your enjoyment at the end
It is important to reward yourself for productive practice. While practicing that etude for an upcoming solo contest or performance may be the main goal, be sure to include a song at the end of the practice session that you like to play. Finding something to enjoy in your instrument will keep you motivated to continue your musical journey.
Like these tips? Want to hear more? Join us at Sessions Music Sugar Land on Nov. 4th 2016 from 6-7:30 pm. Instructor Sheri Lindsey will be leading a “Practice Smarter, Not Harder” open workshop. Visit https://sessionsmusic.com/events/practice-smarter-not-harder/ to learn more!