Practicing During a Pandemic

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A photo of Jeff Conner.

I recently received an email from a high school brass player saying that she has been practicing “a bit aimlessly lately.”

“I don’t have any goals set for myself, nor do I know how to set those goals,” the teen wrote.

I believe you can do several things to stay motivated during the summer months and during these unprecedented times.

Feed Your Soul

Remind yourself why you got involved in band and music. Think about your most basic reasons, the crucial factors, to keep you moving forward. If you’re keeping a practice journal, write down your motivations and what music means to you. These statements will help fuel your passion for music during difficult times.

How do you recharge and renew your creativity? What inspires you? What helps keep your spirit alive? The answers to these questions will help light your creative internal fire.

Create a Schedule

If you find yourself wandering when practicing, now is the perfect time to create a schedule and stick to it, no matter what kind of day you have. Develop a daily habit regarding where and when you practice. Take both physical and mental breaks while practicing to stay focused and moving in the right direction. Having a consistent routine is one of the keys to success.

Set Goals

Meeting your short-term goals will help your long-term goals. List both types on paper and post them where you can see them every time you practice.

Be able to articulate your short- and long-term goals. Remember, you can’t get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going. Have realistic short-term goals for each week and month to stay focused and motivated.

Even though you probably don’t have a performance in the near future, keep your performance edge and passion for music!

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Making Magic

Go slowly and consistently to practice more efficiently. From Halftime Magazine, a print publication and website for the marching arts.