Practice Tips

(Because sometimes time is more important than money) 

We know that at this time of year we all start to think about all of those things we meant to do over the winter. We know that we are going to start trying to power through all those things before spring starts. We know that spending some time with your instrument was probably on that list of things you wanted to get done. Weather it was to learn a specific piece, to increase speed or to learn more about theory, effective practicing is a must so here are our 3 top tips for practice. 

1. Warm up *before* you start your practice. Do your scales, do your stretches, play through you favourite piece(s). Do all of this BEFORE your prescribed practice time starts. You wouldn’t run a 10K without stretching and expect to do well, you would warm up to increase you chances of success. Same goes for practicing. 

2. Make a practice plan. Sit down before you even warm up and figure out what your goal is. Set out big goals, for the song, month, week, year, future, etc, and then break it down before EACH session, adjust as needed. You wouldn’t just go out and start interval training for a 10K without a plan on how to do it, without goals, with out a way to know if you are having success. You would start out slow, look at any couch to 5k type program to see how they break it down for running and then apply those practical, measurable, progress markers to your musical journey.  

3. Set up a time to practice and get rid of ALL of your possible distractions. Leave your phone in the other room, shoo your pets/kids away from the area (and task someone with keeping them busy, and take some deep breaths to clear your mind before you start. Again, with the running analogy, you wouldn’t be checking your texts, or getting snacks for your kids, when running don’t do it when practicing! Undistracted practice time puts your brain into a psychological state called “Flow” ( and this state of mind is perfect for creating strong muscle memory cues between your brain and body. “Getting in the groove” or “being in the zone” really does happen in your brain so you might want to set a timer for your practice time so you don’t end up lost in the moment for too many minutes.