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Have you made your practice schedule?

It’s back-to-school season, and here at Oboe Auntie HQ that means I (and my students) are thinking about our practice schedules and trying to build good practice habits.


Longtime readers will know that I love to have a plan, so today I’ll give you an easy 10-15 minute long exercise that will organize your thoughts, and help motivate you to practice on a more regular basis.


First, let’s address the elephant in the room:


Why make a practice schedule?

If you’re taking oboe lessons, or playing in an ensemble, you already know that you’ll need to work on that music outside of the lesson or the rehearsal. (At least I hope you know that!)


The number one reason I recommend that you make a practice schedule is to set aside time in your week just for practicing. The practice schedule is a way for you to communicate with your subconscious that oboe is important and you’re committed to spending time practicing.


The act of planning to dedicate time to practicing is the first important step to enabling you to get into your practice session so you can feel prepared for your lessons, rehearsals, and concerts. You’ve already made the plan to practice at that time or on that day, all you need to do is sit down and do the practicing.


The Exercise:

At the beginning of each semester, my students and I sit down to do a little self-reflection, practice schedule making, and goal-setting. The magic of this exercise is that it helps you think about what’s going well in your playing, what you want (or need) to work on, any existing challenges that you’ll face in the coming months, and then set some goals to help motivate you in the practice room.


The magic of having a practice schedule and a goal to work towards is that there’s always a reason for you to sit down and practice during the time you’ve set aside. Even with 20-30 minutes you can make small improvements in your skills and over time see huge positive changes in your playing!


Get the worksheet here. (Please make a copy of the document, and edit as you see fit! OR you can download the file and complete it in your word-processor of choice.)


Let me know what goals you set for this semester!

 

If you found this post helpful, then you might like my weekly newsletter: Oboe 101. I write weekly newsletters with tips, exercises, resources, and subscriber-only perks for oboists of all ages, parents of oboists, and music educators. Subscribe now!


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