Here’s some tips that will help you make the most of your practice sessions.
7 Ways to Improve Your Practicing by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”
- Practice First. “Work expands to fill the time available.” (A time management maxim known as “Parkinson’s Law.”) This means if you wait to practice until you finish all your homework (or housework, etc.), then you won’t practice because you’ll run out of time. So, my suggestion is to practice first for at least one practice session before starting on other work. This way you’ll get at least some practice in every day.
- Let There Be Light. Make sure you have adequate light in your practice space. FYI, you should own a couple of stand lights and take them to your rehearsals and gigs. A stand light saved my neck the first time I performed in Italy at the Orfeo Music Festival. I played Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock in an amazing (but dark!) old church – La Chiesa di Santo Spirito, built in 1399!
- Care About the Chair. Get a good chair to sit in that is comfortable and the right height for you. Similarly, make sure you have a quality music stand that is adjustable.
- Straighten Up and Fly Right. Be sure you sit up or stand with good, relaxed posture – NO slouching, leaning over, leg crisscrossing, etc.
- No Fan of Fans. Do not have a ceiling fan (or similar) going above your head or near you while practicing. The fan will blow your sound around and you will not be able to accurately hear yourself.
- Turn Off The Phone! Limit distractions by turning off all beeps, buzzers, and bells on cellphones, tablets, laptops, computers, etc.
- No TV or Internet. Do not do something else while practicing. I know someone who warms up on his instrument while reading email every morning. Don’t do this.
ClarinetMike says, “Hang in there. Go practice right now.”