Summer is a time of laziness. Golly gee, do I know that. However, that’s no excuse to totally ignore your instrument. In fact, summer being such a lazy time is actually a good reason to keep up with your instrument – being relaxed and having less pressure (read: not having juries!) means you can focus better on things.
The problem is that during summer, there’s no enforced structure for most student types. There’s no class-practice-work-socialize-sleep kind of cycle for you to live in. At most, there’s work-socialize-sleep, and I know my work schedule, at least, is anything but consistent. That leads to no routines getting formed where you just automatically go to practice at a certain time and place.
Plus, without anything to work towards, there’s no real motivation. There’s no inherent reason for you to practice, nothing to motivate you except for love of the instrument. As I mentioned briefly when I talked about burnout, you need GOALS in order to actually do something. So. Here’s the solution: take lessons during the summer.
I know it can be inconvenient or seem like a lot of effort or not feel urgent, but seriously. Take lessons during the summer. I’ve been taking piano lessons every summer during college, and it keeps my piano chops up so much better than they would be otherwise. I’m also going to be taking lessons with my primary voice instructor this summer, because if I want to be ready for my grad school auditions, I need to do it.
Think about it: having regular lessons means you get
- Time with a teacher, even during the summer.
- A goal to work towards.
- A penalty if you fail to practice.
All rolled up in one convenient package! Nice.
So take lessons during the summer. They’re super useful, and semi-mandatory if you want to one day perform for a living. (This is of course only if you can afford/get to lessons. Please don’t stress about things you are financially unable/unwilling to do.) Do yourself a favor. Avoid backsliding or even make some real progress without other stressors in your life. Do the thing.