You pull out your instrument and go to practice. But you end up wasting time deciding what to work on. So you refer to your music practice log to inform your practice session.
Practicing can be exciting but also stressful for many musicians. You have to figure out what to practice, and you may not get everything done.
Keep reading to learn more about how to use a music practice log.
Consider Your Goals
Determine why you want to use a practice log and what you want out of music. Whether you want to be a professional performer, teacher, or play music because you love it, you should understand that path.
That way, you can practice and log that practice so that you can achieve your goals. If you want to be a performer, you’ll need to practice more and on different things than someone who doesn’t want to be a professional musician.
Figure out some goals you have in the next year and goals for farther out. If your short-term goal is to record a solo, you can tailor your practice around that. And if your long-term goal is to join a specific ensemble, you can learn the music you need for an audition.
Make sure you set goals that are realistic but that will challenge you. Your goals can change with time, but you should have some goals before you start to use a music practice log.
You should also find the right practice log for you. Consider how you learn and work best. Some people prefer to focus solely on long-term goals. Other musicians need to write down their daily thoughts.
Everyone has different learning styles, so you need a practice log that fits your needs. Sure, you could create your own practice log.
But I have a comprehensive practice log with the option to track your practice daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.
You can use all of the practice pages or just what you need. If you don’t know what works best for you, you can test out the different pages. You don’t have to try a bunch of practice logs or waste time making your own.
The right music practice log can help you focus on the right goals. You can then make huge strides in your practice. If you want to organize your practice time, you need the right practice log for you.
Look to the Future
Once you start using your practice log, you can set goals for the future. You can use the weekly or monthly pages, to set smaller, short-term goals. As you reach those goals, you can set goals for the following week or month.
And you can set bigger, long-term goals. You can use yearly trackers to keep track of your small goals so that you can reach the bigger milestones.
Over the years, you can keep using your music practice log to improve. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or amateur musician.
Tracking your progress can keep you motivated, and you can look toward the future. You can set the goals that work best for you and your current level. As you learn more, you can use the same music practice log to set more advanced goals.
Track Your Progress
In addition to setting future goals, you can look back on your practice. You can write about your practice each week or day, and you can detail the music you work on or your feelings toward that music.
Whenever you aren’t feeling motivated, you can look back on successful practice logs. That can remind you of what’s possible, so you can push past the frustration.
And if you have a bad day, writing about it can help you. You can write or draw your negative feelings. Sometimes, getting your thoughts on paper can make you feel better, and you don’t have to save space in your mind for those thoughts and feelings.
If you want to use a music practice log successfully, you need to be consistent. You already know this is true for playing in general.
So why wouldn’t that apply to your practice log?
You don’t have to use the log every day. That can be very stressful, and it might not do you very good to force yourself into that routine.
But try to find a schedule to use your music practice log. Stick to that schedule as best as you can. That way, you can get the best results from your efforts.
Don’t just use your practice log once and never look at it again. You’ll never see the progress you want if you don’t keep using your practice log.
Review Your Progress
For some musicians, filling out a music practice log is enough. You can keep yourself accountable to practice each day by writing it down.
But reading through your practice goals and logs can be rewarding. You can review what you’ve done over the past month or year.
If you have any big projects, you can remember those projects or events you’ve participated in.
A practice log can track your progress so that you can revisit music. If you need to play a piece in the future, you can read what you’ve done in the past to work on that piece.
You can set new goals for old pieces, or you can set new goals for any new music you want to study. The prior logs can help you choose better and better goals each time.
Do you want to improve your practice? Get your copy of The Busy Musician’s Practice Planner and start using your music practice log today!