by Michael Needleman, Woodwind, Piano and Guitar Instructor at Metro Music Makers
Summer can be a busy time for everyone, with vacations, camps and irregular schedules. It can be a daunting task to try and find time to practice, and even when you do, it can be hard to get past that mental block when you haven’t even seen a piano in a week! If you are having a hard time getting back into the swing of things, here are a couple of tips to get your practicing mojo back.
1) Practice when you can, for as long as you can. There may be some weeks that you are only able to practice once or twice. An easy trap to fall into is the trap of thinking that, “Oh well, I’ll only be able to practice once, so I might as well not do it.” Even if you can only get in one practice session for ten minutes, do it! Your memory, skill and muscle memory can benefit greatly from even a small amount of practice, so if you have a chance between vacations or camps, do it!
2) Get back to basics. Even if you have an assignment from your teacher, it won’t do you much good if you practice that line in the book with bad posture, technique or other basic things. Our bodies lose abilities we’ve developed when we don’t use them consistently, so if you’ve just spent a month unable to practice, go back to the very beginning. Spend one or two practice sessions making sure your posture is correct and you are using proper technique, and spend some time practicing scales, etc. That way, when you get back to the nitty-gritty of whatever it is you’re are working on, you’ll have a much easier time getting started on it!
3) Finally, take summer as a chance to expand your musical repertoire!With no recitals or festivals looming, now’s the chance to take a chance on something. Maybe it’s a song that’s always looked a bit too hard, or an instrument you want to give a shot, or maybe you finally want to break out that rap you’ve been writing. Have fun with whatever it is you want to do! Doing this will also help making practice time easier. So even if you regressed a little with your scales, you can at least work to correct that, and reward yourself with a fun activity!
We know it can be hard to keep up your practicing over summer. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your teacher, even if it’s been a month since you’ve seen them! Hopefully, with these tips, you can keep up your practicing over summer in a way that’s fun and helpful.