March is in full swing which means you’re probably on (or about to be on) spring break! My spring break is still a week away, but I know plenty of schools are already out.
So, that means your practice habits might have to change this week.
You’re probably visiting family and catching up with friends.
So what can you do to make sure you don’t waste the entire week on Netflix and DoorDash?
Here are some of my best practice tips for spring break.
Is it a Break?
Spring break is one of the shorter school breaks in the US. It’s only a week long. But that week can feel like a long time.
Unlike summer or winter break, spring break happens during one semester. You’ll still have coursework and juries to prepare for.
Even during longer breaks, you should still keep up with your instrument so you can keep improving.
With the week off though, you *should* have more time on your hands.
The key is learning to make the most of that extra time so you can return to school feeling refreshed and ready to finish the semester.
One of the most important things for musicians is to practice self care. During school, it’s easy to get carried away by classes, rehearsals, and lessons.
You might forget to take time for yourself.
That’s normal, but that doesn’t make it good.
With your time off, take some time for you. Read book, take a relaxing bath, or spend time with loved ones.
Get some more sleep. Your body needs it.
Eat some good home cooked food. Cafeteria food isn’t the same. Trust me.
Use that time
Now, you have to find a balance between taking care of yourself and maintaining your practice schedule.
You may not be heading to the practice room every day, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice at all.
Whether you stay in your college town or go home, you can (and should) practice during spring break!
You’ll have more time on your hands to practice. So if something hasn’t been working out, you have the chance to explore other practice methods.
Also, one week may not sound like a lot, but it will be much harder to go back to school if you don’t practice.
So take advantage of that extra time to get a bit of extra practice in.
Practicing at Home
I have mixed feelings on practicing at school versus at home. Obviously, the practice room is perfect for practicing.
That’s its sole purpose.
But sometimes you might not want to go to the practice rooms.
And if you leave town to head home? Well then you can’t go to the practice rooms.
Practicing at home isn’t better or worse. But it is different.
I love being able to set the flute down and get a drink of water. I don’t have to worry about leaving my stuff in a practice room. And I don’t have to worry about leaving a practice room and having someone take it before I can return.
But I do have to be a bit more proactive when practicing at home than at school.
At my parents’ house, there are plenty of distractions. First, my bed is two feet from my practice area.
The urge to sleep or even to just sit on my bed is real.
Then there are my dogs and cat. I love my pets, and I don’t have any animals at school.
So of course I’m gonna want to snuggle and love on them as much as I can.
And then there’s my parents and sister. I don’t get to see them every day, so I want to spend some time with them when I’m at home.
So I have to strike a balance between spending time with family and getting some quality work done.
Have a plan
This is a tough one for me. I’m not the biggest planner when it comes to practicing.
But if there are tons of potential distractions, I have to have a rough idea of what I’m going to practice.
A routine or plan can make it easier to get started and to stay on task.
While I might be able to get away with no plan at school, it’s necessary when there are many things that could throw off my practice session.
This kind of contradicts my last tip, but it’s just as important. You may have a practice plan, but you should be flexible.
When you’re at home, something might come up that causes you to take an unexpected break.
Your dog might start barking. Or maybe a parent needs a ride to the car repair shop. Maybe a long distance friend asks you to have lunch.
When you’re at school, you can focus on being in school.
But at home, things can happen that require flexibility.
I hope you can use these practice tips for spring break, whether you’re on break now or later.
It can be hard to maintain a good practice regimen on a “break,” but it will be well worth it in the end.