May 11th, 2022 • Teacher Tips
Productive Practice Routines: Summer Edition
Provided by Tyler Robers, violin Artist-Faculty
Personally, summer is my favorite season. I love the warm weather, the green that surrounds us as the plants thrive in the sun, and the freedom (school’s out!) that often a summer day will bring. It can be a very fun season, but can also be a time when practice tends to slip away from a less-regular schedule. Maybe you just finished your spring recital, and it seems like the next one is far off. Maybe you just went on vacation, and didn’t practice for a few days, so it feels like an add-on to what normal life is right now. There are ways to keep a productive practice schedule, while still enjoying the awesomeness of summer.
The key to summer practice (as with most practice) is consistency. There is no catch-up or cram that you can do with music. When August rolls around, it’s impossible to fill in a summer’s worth of practice in a few days to get ready for school/OAYO/all-state/etc. One way to keep your chops up over the summer is to begin your day with music. Since you’re probably not waking up early for school, why not start your day with practice? While you’re eating breakfast, listen to something! It can be your current rep (your teachers would prefer this but…), old rep, your favorite new artist, or anything really. After that, head straight into a practice session. Hopefully you don’t have too busy of a day, so you can really spend your time focused and with intention. Before the world has a chance to distract you, practice. There will be time later in the day for summer fun, I promise.
Something I love to do in the summer, when there might not be a recital-goal looming over us, is to have a special technical or musical project. This can be as simple as learning a new song over the summer, or can be an in-depth look at some technical part of your playing. Try honing a skill that you and your teacher have been working on. Don’t be in a hurry, really take your time and go slowly and WORK on this.
Get together with some friends and play music! You can have a practice party with a friend where you both work on the same piece, play rhythm games together (or against each other!), or even write your own music. Another fun idea is a backyard concert where you invite friends to either watch or play with you!
However your summer schedule looks, I hope you keep music and your craft in mind. I promise, if you keep a consistent,healthy practice routine, you’ll thank yourself when the fall comes. Happy summer, and happy practicing!