Only have 15 minutes? Or maybe it’s an absolute struggle to get your child to practice music at home? Here’s a great 3 step practice routine from Nate, one of Brooklyn Music Factory’s founders. Try it out this week!
Often what keeps us from doing the work is STARTING. It can be overwhelming to think about having to practice for a whole hour, or even a half an hour! Starting with just 5 minutes makes the task of practicing seem way less scary, and you may even find yourself wanting to keep going after the timer says you’re done.
The Magic of the Timer
The timer is all powerful! I’ve found this to be true for both kids AND adults. Once that clock is ticking, it is a very convincing motivator. Don’t miss out on using this very basic tool. Hint: For kids, let THEM push the start button! It gives kids ownership over their practice time, plus who doesn’t love pushing a button….?
The 5-5-5 Practice Routine:
- 5 Minutes of warming up (technique).
- 5 Minutes of focused practice – Working on one section that is just beyond reach for you.
- 5 Minutes of song work. Add what you just worked on to the rest of your song (this should feel easier than the previous 5 minutes.)
Set your timer for 5 minutes. This time is for warming up your instrument! Maybe it’s free play on the piano: no “wrong notes,” just explore, use the entire instrument, or white keys only. It could be simply playing 4 notes on each open string of the guitar, or maybe some super fun vocal sirens if you’re a singer. (Start low in your range on an “Ooo” and slide to the top of your range and back down, like a fire truck siren!)
Once again, set your timer for 5 minutes. Now it’s time for focused practice. Is there a section of your current song that is challenging to you? Focus solely on that section, without running the entire song. Trouble transitioning to the next section because of a new guitar chord? Loop it! (Play that particular section of music over and over again at a steady tempo.)
Put 5 minutes on the ol’ timer. This is the home stretch! Add the focused section of music you worked on back into the song. Now it’s time to play the song from start to finish. It should feel easier now that you’ve done a 5 minute session of focused practice! When the timer goes off, you’re done!
The key: No matter how well it’s going, when the timer goes off, you gotta move on.
Goal: Build lasting habits (and anyone can find 15 minutes!).
Don’t miss our 3 part series on “Making Practice Work.”