Forum Search...

Login Forums Beyond Practicing Forum Question about how to structure your practice time Reply To: Question about how to structure your practice time

  • Noa Kageyama

    January 30, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Axel,

    Hmm…that’s a toughie. Too much rep, and not nearly enough time is probably one of the most common issues and frustrations that comes up when I talk to folks at pretty much all stages of their careers.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t know that a perfect system exists, and I also don’t think it’s possible to accommodate everything at the level you’d like to. =)

    For many folks, it comes down to finding a way to force yourself to prioritize. Some have found it helpful, for example, to take a calendar, and block out all the times when you would REALISTICALLY be able to practice. Meaning, if you know you’re not a morning person, don’t block out 6am-9am for practicing, because it’s probably not going to be sustainable. Or if you feel lethargic after lunch, don’t block out practice time for right after lunch.

    Once you have all your practice times blocked out, mark your performance dates (whether this means actual performances or auditions or even studio class/lessons) and what you’ll have to perform when.

    At this point, you will see the practice time you have available to you, as well as the rep you need to work on, and it’s just a matter of dividing up the time and slotting in rep in these blocks of time. Kind of like when you’re making a budget for your household finances, and you budget $50 for cell phone, and $20 for pizza, etc., etc. This is budgeting time for certain rep.

    You’ll find that there isn’t enough time to go around, and things will keep changing from week to week, but this will help you avoid getting bogged down and going “over budget” as it were in certain areas, and also make it clear what to prioritize and what to de-prioritize, depending on how close you are to any given performance.

    The only other thing I’ll say is to set a very strict time limit on how much time you spend on this time budgeting process too. Like, maybe 3-5 minutes per day. Or x number of minutes every Friday at 5pm, or something like that.

    Does this help give you some guidelines on how to create a general practice plan and avoid trying to make it too perfect?


There's an LIVE component too! (for educators)

If you’d like to explore some of the most essential skills and techniques in the course live, with a cohort of curious, thoughtful, supportive, and like-minded educators (and a few mildly irreverent or benevolently sarcastic folks mixed in to make sure we don’t get too serious), that’s also an option!

Starting Thursday, February 3rd, we’ll meet via Zoom once a week, and go through selected strategies related to effective practice, managing nerves, and achieving flow states under pressure. We’ll do some in-class playing experiments (don’t worry – you’ll be muted!), short weekly homework assignments, and small-group breakout sessions to help you integrate these new skills into your teaching.

This 6-week live course is normally $199, but is available at 50% off the regular cost when bundled with Beyond Practicing. For more details about the live course (and dates) CLICK HERE.