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‘Five Tips for Establishing a Daily Practice Habit’

Happy girl

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If you haven’t already read the ‘Five Tips for Establishing a Daily Practice Habit’ posted by jeffjetton on his website, I highly recommend them to you.
http://jeffjetton.com/ Scroll down the page to find them, they are worth a read!

One aspect of JJ’s advice that I personally don’t need to modify is number4, ‘Remove Barriers’, but it did get me thinking of the diverse ways we individually prepare ourselves for practice, & I wonder if other members would like to share how they arrange their own set up?

Upon retirement, the very first activity I took up was to transform my home office into a designated music room, & I feel very fortunate to have my accordion live in its own permanent quarters, accompanied with the obligatory lighted music stand, metronome, rubber, pencil & sheet music cabinet all to hand 24/7.

However, I am the first one to admit I would sometimes do anything to keep out of there…. so JJ’s number 5 rule; ‘Be Grateful’ is by far the best for stabilizing a lacklustre frame of mind & re-establishing motivation.

So, as JJ eloquently writes: Instead of thinking “I have to practice, replace it with “I get to practice.” This will be my mantra from now on.
 

george garside

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I use the same room as an office, den, man shed and music room . I always have 2 or 3 boxes next to my desk and find it very difficult not to regularly give myself a break by picking a box up for 5 minutes which very easily take 30 or 40 or??

george
 

Anyanka

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Years ago, a piano teacher gave me a good piece of advice for motivating my daughters. He said that we shouldn't ask them to practice, but to PLAY. There are some techniques that need 'practising' of course, e.g. scales, but the word turns it into a chore when it should be a joy. I reward myself for five minutes of 'practise' by giving myself permission to play whatever I feel like for the next hour or so... and that includes choosing which instrument(s) I pick up that day.

I understand that for many people the 'daily practice' is a good approach, but I find that this can turn into a Must-Do, which can generate a feeling of failure or guilt on those days when I don't manage to make time for music. As I already need to be disciplined about spending time in my art studio (whether I sell the stuff or not), I give myself total freedom in the music.
 

george garside

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When teaching the box I strongly advocate regular 'playing' rather than 'practising' for precisely the reasons Anyanka has given.
One snag with setting a particular day and time for 'practice' is that aunty Nellie or uncle fred or whoever turns up at practice time so you put it off til next week intending to do double! then grandma turns up etcc etc and it never gets done.

Playing IS practicing and practising IS playing. as whatever you choose to call it it entails trying to get something out of the box, correcting mistakes, concentrating on the difficult twiddly bits etc etc etc.

I do however strongly advocate starting playing by running through a few scales which if you must you can treat as a warm up exercise!
george
 

JeffJetton

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Thanks for the shout-out, Happy Girl! :ch

I do agree with Anyanka that daily practice (or nearly so) may not be for everyone at every stage of their musical lives. Note that my post was made back in late December and it geared toward those who have already decided to set a goal of practicing every day (perhaps as a New Years resolution).

Whether you should practice every day is another question. As is how you should practice. It all depends on what your musical goals are, the speed at which you prefer to achieve them, etc.
 

StargazerTony

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Personally, I find that if I keep my accordion out, that is not in it's case, I am more tempted to pick it up at random times and play something
 

Anyanka

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Keeping the accordion out is definitely a good idea... although not in my filthy household. I have seven dogs, who generate a huge amount of dust & dirt, so the accordion goes back in the box for its own protection - the box stays within easy reach though. (And I leave the bagpipes out in the open, on top of the harmonium, for pickupabilitly ) ;)
 

JeffJetton

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Anyanka post_id=51009 time=1507041261 user_id=74 said:
I have seven dogs, who generate a huge amount of dust & dirt, so the accordion goes back in the box for its own protection

FWIW, I have seen plastic slipcovers that might be handy if you still wanted to keep it out of its case. One example is over at Accordion Plus (scroll to bottom of page).

http://accordionplus.com/images/dustcover.jpg>dustcover.jpg

(In my case, I stow my instruments simply because our house is too small to leave them out. But I do leave the music stand out at least, with a folding chair within easy reach of it.)
 

StargazerTony

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Anyanka post_id=51009 time=1507041261 user_id=74 said:
I have seven dogs..And I leave the bagpipes out in the open...

That is very understandable. I think dogs would be terrified of something, on its side, deflated, with horns sticking up and not wanting to approach such a creature. The accordion, on the other hand, when sitting idly by on its feet, is a work if art. ;)
 

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