There are some days where willpower just isn’t enough to get you through a practice session. The piece might be too challenging or you just might not be in the proper mood. When creating or sustaining a long-term habit, there are days where it’s easy to power through the obstacles, but there other days where willpower alone just can’t cut it. Here are some practical tips to help you make music practice as easy as possible:
- Remove All Obstacles
To easily get started on your daily practice session, all of the needed resources have to be in your designated practice space. The day before you begin, or after the previous practice session, place the piece that you want to work on next to your instruments or right on your music stand. Take care of as many immediate responsibilities as you can ahead of time so you can start playing as soon as you sit down and begin to practice.
- Place Everything Within Easy Reach
After a long day, the simple act of needing to look for your instruments or materials can put you off practice altogether. Before the day begins, make sure that your gear is easily accessible and within arm’s reach as much as possible. Place your sheet music and other materials where you spend your time the most. If possible, place your equipment next to your favorite furniture! When it’s practically effortless, practice is much easier.
- Automate Your Practice Sessions
Now that you’ve optimized the beginning of your practice sessions, the next step is to create a system where these tasks are automatic. These habits will be connected to specific behavioral triggers that make it much more unlikely for you to put off practicing. First, create small, highly actionable goals that are easily done in a few minutes. Next, schedule these goals and link both the planning and execution the tasks to other routines that you already do, such as checking your email or changing your clothes before you go to sleep. Once you accomplish these tasks, mentally reward yourself. Repeating this system will make it much easier to associate practice with tasks that you already do every day!