Sunday, January 3, 2010

Get the Most Out of Your Practice Journal


    In keeping with the self-improvement vibe that seems to permeate everyone's lives this time of year, I thought I would share a tip for increasing the impact of your practice journal.  Previously, I discussed how it can be beneficial to keep a day-to-day log of your practice regime.  However, writing it down is only the first step to improvement.
    In order to get the most out of your journal you need to check it regularly.  You need to look back upon your accomplishments and downfalls in order to figure out where to go next.  I started taking about thirty minutes on Saturday evenings to review what I had logged throughout the week.  That way, I can look at what needs improvement and allot more time for that the next time I practice, and maybe spend less time focusing on things I can play perfectly every time.  It's a good feeling to know that you are doing everything you can to nurture your musical gift.

    The key to making the weekly review a habit is to break it down and lay it out in sections.  I usually break it down into 3 parts.  First, I look back through the weeks entries and find everything I improved upon and give myself a pat on the back.  The next thing to do is make a mental note of all the things that didn't improve as much as I hoped for.  Finally, I make a list of short-term goals for the week to come and write it down on the next fresh page in my practice log.  Of course, you can alter this routine in many different ways in order to be more sensitive to your own needs.

    I hope this article has been helpful.  Remember to nurture your skills and abilities in any way you can, as they are what makes everyone unique.


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