Practicing music consistently. Now that is something I struggle with. And it’s something I want to do better at. So this post is as much for me as it is for anyone else. If you struggle to practice music regularly, I hope you will find something here that will be helpful for you. I’ll be sharing seven music practice tips.
Music Practice Tips
- Set Checkpoints and Deadlines
- Have a Music Tracker
- Habit Stack
- Have an Accountability Partner
- Use What You Practice
- Play Fun Songs
- Reward Yourself
1. Set checkpoints and deadlines.
One of my goals for 2022 is to finish the guitar book I am working on. I wasn’t sure how to tell how I was progressing with that goal, until my sister suggested setting checkpoints and deadlines. Now I can figure the number of songs I have left and how many I need to get done each month to finish the book by the end of the year.
Do you have a goal? Can you break it down into smaller goals with deadlines to make sure you stay on track with your larger goal? When you reach a checkpoint could be a time to treat yourself to some sort of reward, as we will be discussing later in this post.
2. Have a music tracker.
In my bullet journal each month, I have a music tracker where I mark each day that I practice music. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like a mostly incomplete tracker, so this is incentive for me to get my music practice in.
Do you have a planner or bullet journal? If so, include a tracker where you keep track of your music practice. You could track the amount of time you play, how many days you play, how many songs you learn, etc.
3. Habit-stack music with another activity.
If you aren’t familiar with habit-stacking, it is where a new activity is grouped with an activity you already do regularly, to turn doing it into a habit. So to turn music practice into a consistent habit, you could have it follow an activity you are already doing every day. You would do the activity, and as soon as you were done, you would go practice music.
I did this for awhile, and it worked well for me. I habit-stacked guitar practice with lunch. As soon as lunch was over, I would practice guitar for awhile.
4. Have an accountability partner.
When you have goals set and you have to tell someone whether or not you met those goals, you’re a lot more likely to make sure you meet those goals, or at least I am. Is there a friend, who is also a musician, that you can share your music goals with? Tell them your goals, and if you meet them, arrange to get together and play music as extra incentive to complete your goals.
5. Use what you practice.
This is a big one for me. I’ve noticed that when I know I am going to be actually using what I practice, I’m a lot more likely to practice. Which it make sense when you think about it, because who wants to get up and play a special in church without having practiced for it?
So find ways that you can use the songs you learn. Can you play them in family devotions? Are there friends you can get together and play with. Is there an elderly neighbor or family member you can play for? If you’re in need of ways to use your music, check out the post I wrote on 6 ways to use music as a ministry.
6. Play fun songs too.
Practice doesn’t just have to be about playing the same song over and over again, trying to get it perfect, until you are sick of it and never want to play or hear it again. You can also play fun songs while practicing. And if you enjoy what you are playing during practice time, you will be more likely to go and practice. A song that I usually end up playing at some time or other while I’m practicing is an etude from my last guitar book that I really enjoyed and ended up memorizing.
7. Give yourself a reward.
What’s some sort of activity or treat that you enjoy? When you have consistently practiced music for a whole week, allow yourself to enjoy it as a reward. Having the reward to look forward to will give you incentive to get your practicing done.
Here’s a schedule you could follow:
First day: small reward
First week: reward
First month: reward
3 months: reward
6 months: reward
1 year: big reward
Some reward ideas would be eating special chocolate, reading a new book, buying something you want, getting or making a special coffee, etc.
Were any of these ideas helpful for you? Let me know in the comments which ones were. And if you have any music practice tips of your own, please share them. I’d love to hear them!