For most kids, summer begins the millisecond they burst from the doors of their school. For music students (and their teachers), the school year ends somewhat hazily at some point in May, June or even July. Sure school ends, but there are still end of year recitals that, if they are related to school, happen sometime before the last day, and if they are related to their private lessons, they could happen on any beautiful afternoon in May or June. Until the recital, they are still hard at work on final preparations for their last performance of the year.
And then, even though the summer begins on June 21, students who don’t continue with lessons “for the summer” still finish out the month of June. So for a teacher, and for many students, summer begins, legitimately and officially on July 1.
Hey, that’s today!
Welcome to summer everyone!
A lot of my students have taken off for the summer – which is cool. I’m glad that they are going out and enjoying the weather and the sights and sounds of the season. But we allllllllll have to remember (even myself!), to keep up with our practice, practice, practice!
For anyone who is taking off the summer, here is my suggestion:
24 days of practice.
24 is a random number, I know. But I, again, wanted to give my students a little leeway for those that may be taking out of state (or even out of country) vacations. Out of 8 weeks between July and August, I would like them to practice for what comes out to be 4 days a week, six weeks out of the two months.
There are a few different ways to accomplish this.
1) Practice every single day from now until all 24 sessions are completed.
2) Back track from your first lesson of the new school year, and practice all of those 24 days.
3) Designate days/weeks throughout the two months when you plan on practicing.
For my students who may be spreading their practice times throughout the two months, or who may be attempting to get all of their practicing in at the beginning of the summer, I suggest leaving the last week of practicing for the last week before lessons start up again. But for anyone else – get creative! Just be sure you get to practicing!
I’ll be attempting this as well, and of course, documenting my own 24 days here. We’ll see how this goes – I haven’t really mentioned it on the blog yet, but I’ll be gone for pretty much an entire month at dance camp in upstate NY. Last time I was there, the piano in their hall gave me carpel tunnel syndrome, which was pretty much not a fun time at all. But now that all my recitals are done, I am inspired – by my super awesome students – to practice in a way that I haven’t in such a very long time. I am eager to jump back on this wave and see where it takes me.
Audience Participation Time
Where might 24 days of practicing take you this summer?
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