100 Days of Practice, Round 2: Day 7: On the Importance of Structure

Last thing before bed was practice, and first thing this morning was practice. I can get used to this.

Two additional thoughts on making practice more effective:

1) Choose concrete, measurable goals. "I'm going to practice every day for the next 100" is nice, but it's not the same as, "By the end of this 100 days, I'm going to learn the following three pieces..." or "Here's a list of tunes I want to learn. I'm going to learn one a week, for the next ten weeks" etc etc.

What happened to me at the end of the last 100 days is that I finished up the campaign with no idea if I had progressed or not. I shoulda coulda woulda made a list of goals, if I'd thought of it. It seemed like 100 days was a goal enough; it wasn't.

2) Keep a journal. It helps you track what you did. It helps you structure your time. Look back through it from time to time to remind yourself of what you've been working on , and what you've forgotten to work on. There's not much to it: Get a calendar/diary journal book. Borders sells them cheaply. At the beginning of your session, jot down what you plan to do. At the end of your session, comment on how well you did it. Look at the weak points, and write them down in your entry for tomorrow. Tomorrow, you won't forget to work on those things.

I didn't do this very consistently in my first 100 days. And for the last seven days of this session, I've been trying to find my journal. (See "Keeping your work space clean"... a few days ago. Another weak point in my regime....) Finally located it today, after my session. It was in our bedroom (???) under a pile of clothes that needs to be hung up in the closet. (See previous sentences. )

Today, I tell myself: Clean your house. It helps.


Peig said…
day 7

I am lovin this idea.

My goal the first 100 days WAS to play every day, to travel to Ireland and take some lessons,and really perfect what I was working on. And I did, and it did make a difference.

This next 100 days I want to keep up with my lessons and sit in on a session 1 or 2 times per month.

That brings me to new music. I will work on new tunes BUT want to learn them well. Not just bash through to get a lot of tunes under my belt.

I am going to start a journal and may share at the end??? Is there an end??? I hope not!!

Right so, there you have it, my next 100 days.
Dr. D. Running said…
Day seven!!

I took yesterday off - friends came in from out of town. And Saturday I had to go through the worst practicing habit. 'I have a gig in two hours and can't cut the part the way that I would like.' Don't be like me and get to this level.

Today was more work at getting back. Lips are quite chapped - probably a good sign. Also I have been using my practice mute while playing in my office. Today I took it out and filled the practice room - HUGE sound!!!! It's like a trombonist's batting donut.

119 day's until the faculty showcase recital ... a possible goal?
Peig said…
day 7/8

Got up early and blew through everything I know, paying attention of course to detail. tonight, work on only new tune.

This week's goal: put to memory Maid Behind The Bar.