Organising your practice

Planning your practice

Make up a weekly practice timetable for both of your chosen instruments. A daily practice session of 15 - 30 minutes is recommended.

Set targets and keep a progress diary to track improvements. Difficult areas of the music may require a more disciplined approach – allow yourself several days to practice tricky areas more slowly, aiming to play a little faster by the end of the week.

Keep practice sessions interesting by working on more than one piece and by trying to play a variety of musical styles. For example mixing jazz and classical or blues and baroque will give you more variety and help keep you concentrating.

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If you miss a day, try to extend your next practice session by 5-10 minutes

Before you practice:

  • check your instrument is in tune (if appropriate)
  • do some warm-up exercises on your instrument/voice
  • consider the posture and technique required - this will help improve tone

When you practice:

  • record yourself practising so that you can listen back and reflect
  • break difficult sections into small chunks
  • practise slowly and repeatedly, then gradually build up the tempo
  • practise in front of other people to help build confidence
  • practise scales and studies regularly to improve technical ability

After your practice, reflect on it by:

  • listening to or watch recording of yourself playing
  • identifying areas that may require further practice
  • noting the progress you see in your practice sessions in a notebook, or a logbook provided by your teacher

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Remember you can learn from working with and listening to other musicians as well as from concentrating on your own practice