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Effective Music Lesson Practice Routines in 4 Easy Steps

Annette and Van1

A regular practice routine is absolutely essential to progressing in your music lessons. Annette Droz, our Head Piano Lesson Instructor gives her advice on how to set up an effective practice routine:

  1. Pick a time of day that works and stick with it.Often we fail to practice because we didn’t have a plan on WHEN to practice, but that can all change with a plan! Think through your week, and decide what time of the day would work best for you or your child, and treat it like a set appointment every day. We’d never make it to school or work if we didn’t have a start time – and it’s the same with practicing music. So set up a start time!
  2. Practice your music lessons in short, consistent sessions.Learning an instrument (including singing) is all about building layers of memory and muscle ability. For this reason, it is more effective to practice in shorter, consistent practice sessions (15-20 minutes every day) instead of longer, less consistent practice sessions (1 hour every three or four days).
  3. Get to the tough stuff first. Your brain is the most focused at the start of your practice session, so take that time to practice through the hardest sections of your hardest songs. Save the easy songs and review them for the end of your practice session. If you feel your brain start to drift – either switch pieces or go for a little walk around and come sit back down. It is better to have 10 complete minutes of focused practice than 30 minutes of “mind-wandering” practice.
  4. Make your practice sessions as productive as possible.Instead of always playing or singing through full scales and songs just to check them off your to-do list, take the time to slow down and fix the trouble spots with the correct technique. Yes, this is a slower process, but your skill will actually progress faster this way!