6 Practice hacks for effective, low-stress music learning at home.

2 minute read
Written by Alek Stokes

Every student should always aim to get the most out of a practice session every single time they sit down to practice their singing or their instrument.

By applying the tips below, you will give yourself the best chance of getting the most of your practice time and see results that little bit quicker!

Mentally Prepare!

Whether you schedule your practice time or you decide in the moment that now is a good time to practice, knowing practice time is coming soon helps you prepare mentally for a practice session. Get into the right headspace for practice by thinking about what you want to play, your goals for the session as well as your challenges for the session. Plan for what you’ll work on in today’s practice session. Don’t try and work on the whole repertoire as one piece, breaking it down into bite-size pieces will also assist you in mentally preparing for a practice session.

Verbalise your goals

At the beginning of your practice sessions, say or write the specific goals that you plan to work towards. Include big goals like polishing off your upcoming performance piece as well as small goals like nailing the triplets at the start of a solo. You’ll be able to get a sense of what you have accomplished and what to do next.

Practice by listening

Record yourself playing your piece of music and listen back to it. This is especially helpful when you think you have the song down pat. You’ll hear your music in a totally new way and you’ll see and hear possibilities that you’re too busy to notice while you’re playing or singing in the practice session. Also listening to the piece of music between practices can also help you identify solutions to your current challenges.

Take a break

Your brain needs time to take in what you’ve worked on. Take frequent breaks, even if it is only a 30-40 second pause between segments. If you split your practice into several shorter segments in the session you’ll find you retain more from sessions than if you try and do it in one huge chunk.

Take care of your body

Your body is key to being able to play your instrument. Feed it, water it and rest it. Stretch if you need to. Use correct posture. If you aren’t feeling well, or you’re tired and feeling uncomfortable, it will interfere with your ability to focus fully on your practice. So, care for your body before, during and after practice, and in your life in general.

Don’t rely solely on motivation

Motivation comes and goes in waves. Use the motivation when it is there to establish your routine and schedule. Once you have established this routine and schedule you will have it to fall back on when the motivation falls away.

That’s all for this blog! Don’t forget to join our Facebook Group for more tips, tricks and suggestions on ALL things education!

We provide resources on Music, Maths, English, and more!

Link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/201222494635954

See you there!

Until then, keep learning, keep growing and keep asking questions

3 Tips to set your child up for maximum success this year

3 Minute Read
Written by Simon Lewicki

Today I am going to show you three simple ways to set your child up for success this year. 3 simple, yet powerful ways. These will work regardless of year level. These 3 methods were taken from documenting the at-home practices of my top-performing students. They helped them stand out and achieve great results. All without impacting on their personal interests! 

Let’s dive in! 

Our first tip is about the swamp. Also known as, your child’s room. 

I am not going to waste your time referring to all the studies that show the environment you work in matters. We all know that. I am going to explain what I have seen work and what they had in their environment.

Let’s go! 

Environment plays a critical role in everyone’s life, whether they are 75 or 10. In saying that, getting this right for your child is more important. It will make them more productive and take some pressure off of you. Win, win! 

What makes a good environment? 

A few things… 

First off, 

FUNCTIONALITY 

Everything they need is within reach. This includes a space for their iPad (such as a stand), pencils, pens, notebooks, and space to spread out worksheets. If the workspace becomes frustrating, your child will become distracted and agitated. This will limit their output. 

Ensure they have a big enough desk and that there is space for them to be productive. During assignment periods, they will need to spread work out across the desk, prepare in advance and make sure they have enough space. We don’t want them using the kitchen table every time there is an assignment. 

DISTRACTIONS 

Next and this is the big one, especially in the earli- oh look! A squirrel! 

Yup, distractions! Need to limit these as much as possible! 

NO squirrels allowed! None! 

This will vary from child to child, you’ll know what to remove to ensure their success. I’m not saying take it all outside and launch it over the neighbours fence. This tip is more about limiting access and removing clutter from your child’s environment. 

Distractions aren’t always devices, it could be a mini basketball hoop on the door. Even then, what is distracting to one child, helps another focus. Discretion needed. 

For example: 

I had two very capable students, both had limited access to their iPads each night. This created a good habit of getting their work done earlier in the night and playing later in the night. They consistently got work done early and to a good standard. Homework never impacted their sporting commitments, because it was always done early and before it was due. This works, try it out. 

CONSISTENCY 

Our next and last tip for the environment side of things. Consistency. 

ConsistencY of environment, that is. 

Yes, that ‘Y’ was an ironic joke, good eye! 

Nice and simple this one, but I’ll show you what worked for my best students. 

Make your child’s environment bamboo! 

That’s right, we are now looking at bamboo. 

Why? 

Bamboo is both amazingly strong AND flexible. 

That’s what we need. The last two years have been the exact opposite for your child. Let’s future-proof their workspace this year. 

Here’s how: 

– Make sure the workspace is in the same spot. Wherever you choose, don’t change it. If they have a desk in their room, great. 

Don’t have your child sit at the table one night and then outside the next. Of course, at times, it’s okay to have them sit where you can see them. What we don’t want is too much change. 

– Ensure the workspace can work for both online learning and physical. 

Here’s hoping we never go back to online learning but prepare now and your child won’t be interrupted. 

This is very simple to do. Ensure there is space for an iPad and a workbook at their dedicated space. As a plus, this could help watch educational videos while studying too! 

That is all for today! Next time we’ll dive deeper into other areas of consistency. Including, scheduling and routine. We’ll take a look into the power of scheduling and show you a method taught by a serial entrepreneur. They used this method to make themselves a fortune, your child can use it to achieve ultimate success at school and beyond! 

If you would like more tips, tricks, and suggestions on ALL things education. Please consider joining our FREE Meta (Facebook) group. We provide resources on Music, Maths, English, and more! 

Link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/201222494635954 

See you there! 

Until then, keep learning, keep growing and keep asking questions!