Happy Spring Break!

Here we are a few days into Spring Break and I’m really getting the most out of my stay-cation. Not that I’m just sitting around doing nothing. Actually, the break has given me a chance to catch up on many office tasks that started piling up, to get prepared for 11 more weeks of lessons and classes, and catch up on sleep!

In the first days of the break I struggled to get focused. Because my busy teaching schedule provides me with daily structure, without it I find it difficult to for me to get motivated to get tasking.

Similarly, my practice routine has suffered a bit this week. I practice first thing in the morning. So I get up super early to make sure I get that 25 minutes of practice logged. Today, for example, I slept in and had to skip my morning practice so I could get out the door to an appointment. I’ve promised myself I will get the practice in today, though––right after I write this post!

Should I try to practice while on vacation?

This is an important question for every practicing musician. As your teacher, my first thought is: Yes, you should totally keep your routine going over the break! But it’s not that simple for most of us. For me, I can’t help but to have my practice routine change while I’m on vacation because many of my other daily routines are different during this time.

The answer to whether you should be practicing on your vacation, is dependant on your goals as practicing musician. A little assessment can help us decide the best course of action.

How fragile is your daily routine?

If you’re cruising along in your daily practice, how long did it take for you to establish that level of consistency? Perhaps your routine is so dialed in that a couple of days off won’t effect your ability to jump-start it when you’re back from your trip.

If it’s been a real struggle to get consistent practice going, maybe taking a whole week off will make it very difficult to get your momentum back when you return.

I know, I’m not giving you all the answers here. But these questions can help us decide how to approach your week off from lessons.

I think it boils down to this: if you need a break to recharge your energy and focus, go for it! But, realize that you’ll lose some momentum and have to work extra hard to re-establish your daily practice routine when the break is over.

Is it worth it to travel with my guitar?

Ninety-nine percent of the time I advise against traveling with your guitar. Here’s why:

You may have seen that before, it’s been on youtube for a few years. I believe their issue was resolved eventually with Dave’s broken Taylor. In addition, there have been changes to the rules for musicians traveling with instruments that supposedly guarantee that our guitars won’t get checked and can be carried-on. But, I still don’t like to risk getting to the gate and being told they have to check my guitar. Because if they do check it, it will get thrown around, and it will break.

So basically if you’re flying somewhere leave it at home. Instead bring your staff paper and write some music, or make a playlist of songs you want to learn when you get back, or practice your note reading flashcards! Follow this link to earn an extra 10 song challenge points.

Some general practice routine tips:

  1. Practice every day
  2. Practice first thing in the morning
  3. Use a timer
  4. Track your practice at the time of practice
  5. Don’t judge yourself or your progress
  6. Practice for the sake of practice
  7. Reward yourself!

How’s your break going?

Let know in the comments below…

See you next week!