We have had a number of questions come in over the last couple of weeks regarding time and timing of practice.
We will deal with the amount of time you should spend practising in another article. However the time of day you practise can also be an important factor in how effective your time is.
It is important to remember that in order to practise well you need two things:
- A healthy mind
- A healthy body
Choosing the best time of day for your practice means choosing a time when your mind and body are most ready to learn.
When you practise you should try to make sure that your mind is ready and relaxed. You are not likely to be relaxed if you have just been doing a difficult mental exercise, or are tired from concentrating on something else for a long time.
Equally if your mind is on something else, thinking about something you need to do or someone you need to speak to then you will not be best placed to learn well.
If you have either of the above take a few moments to relax and mentally prepare before you start your practice.
Playing any musical instrument is a very physically demanding activity. If you are tired, unwell or injured this will prevent your practice being as good as it can be.
Of all these tiredness can be the biggest reason why our bodies do not function well in practice. Try to always ensure you are awake and ready to meet the exciting new challenges your next practice session will bring.
What time of day?
This is not a simple question to answer as it will depend on many things and will therefore be different for everyone. There are a number of questions you should ask yourself to work out what time is best for you:
- When is rehearsal space available?
- What time of day am I able to set aside regular time for practise?
- When am I least likely to be disturbed?
- Am I a morning or night person (when do I feel most awake)?
- At what point during the day do I have the most energy?
Answering these questions should lead you towards the ideal time of day for you to practise.
Once you have found your ideal time of day you should create a regular routine of practice and stick to it. You should also use the methods and resources available on this site to ensure that when you do practise you get the most out of your time.
Make sure you discuss with your students when they are practising. Be specific, find out where and when – if the students know that you are going to take and active interest in this they are likely to focus on it themselves.
When picking a time of day to practice make sure you stick to it for a little while. You need to give it at least a couple of week before deciding that the time isn”t right for you.
You can help your child by ensuring that the time they choose to practise each day is as conducive as possible to good learning. Your child will hopefully have ensured that their mind and body is well placed to practice – you can help greatly by ensuring the environment they practice in is as relaxed and interruption free as possible.