Organization for your Practicing

The first step to practicing should be deciding how many days between lessons you think you need to practice. For weekly lessons, practicing 1-3 days means that you are NOT practicing more than you ARE practicing, so that will not likely lead to a good lesson. Practicing for four days per week has you practicing more days than not, but barely, so I believe you should aim for at least five days per week. This should be your minimum goal for practicing. If you can get six or seven days in, that would be terrific, but start with five and go from there.

The next step is setting goals for what you want to get accomplished each practice session. I recommend drawing a grid in your notebook (you have a notebook, right?) labeling the days across the columns and what you need to practice in the rows. Divide each assignment up into five sections (or four, with the fifth day being reserved to play everything).

Finally, decide how much time you need to complete each column. Elsewhere on this website, you will find a guideline for how much time I believe you should be practicing per grade level, but that is merely a suggestion. Most students practice until they get it right one time, but you should actually practice until you CANNOT GET IT WRONG. This likely will result in more time than I have suggested, but probably not THAT much more time. If you truly cannot practice the entire column well in the time that I have suggested, either add more time, or practice less items in the column. Whatever you do, practice with the intention of mastering (not perfecting!) the music you are learning so you can demonstrate your achievements to the best of your abilities to your teacher.

Please feel free to offer any feedback you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!