Updated: Jul 5
By Christy | The Practicing Pro
You can also Watch / Listen to the Live HERE
Everyone is feeling tired and ready for a break this time of year. Are you wanting to slow down and spend time with family for the holidays? Me too!
You have worked so hard establishing a daily routine to include practicing this year. The holidays don’t just sabotage our diets, they can also affect our daily routines and daily practice is often missed.
What to do?
Everyone is different
Some players work so hard every day during the regular school months that a much-needed break in all areas of your life might be just what you need to recharge your batteries.
Other players might have EXTRA time on holiday and want to get some extra practicing in for an upcoming concert or exam.
Some need to continue their daily habit of practicing, which they have worked so hard to get so that they can keep it.
I have found that when you miss more than one day of playing your instrument, you start to get rusty. I suggest that if you need a break you should still keep playing every day, even if it’s very short. This will save you so much time and energy when you start back up again. Adopt the “just 5 minutes or just 10 minutes” saying over the holidays. Getting your instrument out and getting started is sometimes the hardest part.
In the summer time (when students DON'T take summer lessons), I find they need a whole month or more in September to get back to where they were before they stopped. A problem with taking a complete break is that players are NOT excited to start back again since they find things that used to be easier are now harder - it’s frustrating and discouraging for them.
It's been my experience that no matter who you are - you are going to need a break of some kind from your regular routines. We all need to keep practicing daily though - but that doesn't mean we can't change it up a bit!
The trick to this is to have some kind of a holiday PROJECT (big or small) that you are excited about that you can still do every day.
I’ve put together a list of a few suggestions to have really FUN practices, and share your love of music with your family.
Review all your old songs and fill a tree with ornaments - Click Here for Link
Be creative like snowflakes - Click Here for Link
Teach someone in your family how to play the chorus for jingle bells
Make a Santa’s beard in practice - Click Here for Link
Get a Christmas book like Christmas Kaleidoscope and play through songs - invite over another player for duets to record and share on Zoom or Youtube for your grandparents/friends
Practice on FaceTime for “background music” for a grandparent or aunt etc… during their cookie making or gift wrapping.
Compose a new song
Play ”just 10 minutes” a day and review songs.
Play a new fun music video game like Rhythm Cat or Note Rush
Watch a live stream concert of your favorite fun performer - Natalie MacMaster had an at-home Christmas family concert online this year I watched and it was just delightful!
Learn about a composer that you play a piece from - play all of the songs you know by them and/or learn a new one - listen to other pieces/works they composed.
Learn about a famous performer that plays your instrument and listen to them
Look in your music for some new musical terms you don't know and Google search them to find out what they are
Make musical term flashcards
Work on a theory workbook
Make videos on a Youtube channel of each piece you have learned and add to it next holiday break of all of your new pieces.
Do Zoom concerts for family or friends that are alone during the holiday
Play my Christmas songs by ear game. - Click Here for Link
Christmas Project Ideas List
Print your list out to reference any time.
Check out my Free PDF download Checklist for a Successful Music Practice for teachers and practicing parents.
Your easy checklist for successful home music practices from Christy, the practicing pro. Whether you are a new or seasoned practice parent or music teacher, this checklist will help you organize before, during, and after practices for effective and fun practices.
INVITATION from Christy Hodder:
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