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#19 Practicing During the Holidays

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

By Christy | The Practicing Pro

You may be asking yourself, how do I fit in time to practice this week, or the next, or the next...maybe we’ll just wait until January.

Well I’m here to tell you DON’T WAIT! Right now is the PERFECT time for some amazing practices and I have lot’s of ideas for you on how!

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, that they have worked on so hard to get, so that they can keep it.

Getting Rusty

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 - to 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.

In the summertime (when students DON'T take summer lessons) I find they need a whole month or so in September to get back to where they were when they stopped before their summer break. A problem with taking a complete break is that players are NOT excited to start back again since they find things now hard that used to be easier - 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.

Project Ideas:

I’ve put together a list of a few suggestions to have really FUN practices, and share your love of music with your family.

  1. Review all your old songs and fill a tree with ornaments - Click Here for Link

  2. Be creative like snowflakes - Click Here for Link

  3. Teach someone in your family how to play the chorus for jingle bells

  4. 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

  5. Practice on FaceTime for “background music” for a grandparent or aunt etc… during their cookie making or gift wrapping.

  6. Compose a new song

  7. Play a new fun music video game like Rhythm Cat or NoteRush

  8. 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!

  9. Watch all of the music videos of a group you like? Have you watched the Nova Scotia Youth Ambassador's, (from Halifax, Nova Scotia) Christmas Video? Or maybe some of Lindsey Stirling's?

  1. 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.

  2. Learn about a famous performer that plays your instrument and listen to them

  3. Look in your music for some new musical terms you don't know and google search them to find out what they are

  4. Make musical term flashcards

  5. Work on a theory workbook

  6. 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.

  7. Do zoom concerts for family or friends that are alone during the holiday

  8. Play my Christmas songs by ear game. - Click Here for Link

Project Ideas List 
Print your list out to reference any time.

Ideas List1 - FREE pdf download
Ideas List2 - FREE pdf download

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:

Speaking of amazing practices, let me tell you all about the digital course, the Practicing Pro Academy. This is for the serious practicing parents and music teachers and is an at-your-own-pace, step-by-step, online course to bring you more effective, positive, and fun home music practices. Registrants receive a special package in the mail from me, and I am with you in person with Q&As to answer all your questions.

Learn more about PPA and join the waitlist HERE for the next Practicing Pro Academy course. It's only offered once a year so you don't want to miss it. The registration will only open for a few weeks and I'll let everyone on the waitlist know immediately so that you can grab one of the spots.

LIKE, FOLLOW, and SHARE on Instagram and/or Facebook to be inspired and join the positive practicing music community.

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