Have you had a practicing break over the holidays and then regretted it later? Are you looking to find a way to maintain progress even though you have a few weeks off lessons?
I’ve compiled a few tips here to help you plan for the holiday season.
It can be difficult to practice through the holidays. Family is over, you are busy making preparations for a memorable holiday and routines are out the window. So what is a parent to do?
Set Realistic Goals
To set your goals, it’s time to pull out the calendar and decide what you want you practicing to look like over the winter break. Are you aiming for everyday still? Are there a few days you want to be designated no practice days? If so, setting up a plan of which days and when can go a long way.
This small step of planning can mean that you eliminate any guilt from not practicing and know better how it will fit into the your schedule. Mornings often have the least to compete with as far as family time and other activities, but make sure to look at your days to know what will work best.
Set Realistic Expectations
So you’ve got a plan for your practice schedule, but make sure you have a realistic expectation of how much is going to get done. Breaks from lessons is often a great time to work on review and technique. Pick a technique to really focus on over 2 weeks. Will it get better over that time? Yes!
Sometimes I see parents try to tackle 3 or 4 things over a break because they may have more time for practice over that time. Go into the time you have with realistic expectations of what is going to be accomplished and you’ll actually get a lot more done. Remember that mastering one thing is much better than sort of learning a lot.
Bring a Little Magic
This time of year is full of magic. Why not bring a little into your practice. Set up a special set of fairy lights or a special practice candle in your practice area. It’s amazing what a little light during this dark time of year can do!
Consider playing for charity. This can be visiting a nursing home or doing a practice-a-thon to raise money.
Bonus Tip: Play for Family and Friends
Often the holidays is a time when family and friends are celebrating together. Work a practice recital into your celebration! Before you know it, playing together or for each other will become a yearly tradition. You can find my video on practice recitals here.
I hope this gives you a few ideas on how to tackle this busy time of year. Either way, make sure you don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as planned. Learning an instrument is like a marathon and slow and steady is key. I want to conclude with a great Dr. Shinichi Suzuki quote, “Don’t hurry don’t rest. Without stopping, without haste, carefully taking one step at a time will surely get you there.”
Thanks for joining me on this Adventure in Suzuki Parenting and happy practicing!