Here are three tips to inspire you to keep practicing during the pandemic. These are tough times, so you need to make this as easy as possible!
- Treat daily music practice as self-care: With all the stress and uncertainty of pandemic life, we all need to be practicing more self care. Yes, this includes drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, but why not treat your daily practice as a form of self care too? Spending time every day singing, playing piano and just making music is a great way to invite structure and creativity into you day and will help to feed your mind, body and soul.
Make sure your practice space is cozy and inviting. Nice lighting adds a comfortable feel (get a decent lamp with a soft white lightbulb!), get a good quality chair or stool and fill your space with candles and inspirational quotes. While you’re at it, make sure you give yourself some private and distraction free time. Log out of your social media accounts, turn off your phone and hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door. (Time to let your kids have some screen time!). This is YOUR TIME to center yourself into creativity, even if it’s only for a short time.
2. Get organized: How many of us have desks and studios that are in rough shape? Messes, piles of paper and a lack of proper materials will derail your practicing. Take an hour or two and get your space in shape! Put all of your music in a folder or binder, putting the most recent material up front. Make sure you have your recording device, speakers, metronome, notebook and several pencils and pens handy so that when you sit down to work, you have everything you need.
- Put all of your music in a folder or binder so it’s all in one place when you need it.
- Make sure you have your recording device, speakers/headphones, metronome, notebook and pencils handy so that when you sit down you’re ready to go!
- Declutter anything from your practice space that you don’t need – household items like bills and paperwork and anything else that will distract you from practicing (Whose socks are these???)
- Get rid of anything that is visually busy or otherwise distracting to your creative flow. If there are small repairs that you need to make, or loose ends that need to be tied, take a couple of hours and just DO IT (We both know that your metronome has needed batteries for a while, so…)
3. Create projects and goals to work toward. It can be really hard to practice efficiently when we no longer have rehearsals, auditions and performances to be working towards. Now is a great time to find creative solutions to those external goals. Create new goals to help you stay on track and get motivated. Here are a few ideas:
- Do a deep dive of the work of a favorite singer or composer. This is a great time to choose repertoire that differs from your usual work or “type”
- Film yourself practicing once a week on social media to let your friends and fans know what you’re up to
- Host a Zoom concert for your family or friends
- Get together (over Zoom) with fellow musicians to share your work and do a feedback circle
- Take an online course to help you build new skills
- Create playlists of your “desert island” songs and learn them one by one (This is what I’m doing as part of my #RandomSongsILike project!)
Want to check out some more practice tips?
Check out this blog post by my friend Valerie Day, who interviewed 5 singers and asked for their practice tips. (Guess who is one of them? 🙂