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Over the summer, it can be difficult to maintain your practice routine. With the sudden lack of structure, the work hours that are all over the place, and the disappearance of your practice room, you might find it near impossible to actually get yourself to do anything. That’s normal.
Heck, I find it hard to make myself write during the summer, and writing is a lot less stressful than practicing sometimes.
So how to practice over the summer? Here are some suggestions!
Find a time when your home is emptiest. Personally, I find it really hard to practice when I know someone is going to be listening to me. It’s different in the practice room. Then everyone outside is definitely just worrying about their own practice, or their next class, or lunch. At home, though, my family tends to listen. Which is nice! But also nerve-wracking! I make all the bad-sounding noises when I practice. Practice leaves only good-sounding noises once I’m on stage. That’s not something I like others to pay attention to. So what I do is wait to practice until basically everyone has left the house, and then practice my heart out. If there HAVE to still be people around, though, no worries: I head to the attic or the basement.
Find a room where you won’t be disturbed. Yes, I’ve practiced in my attic. It’s calm, it’s separated from the rest of the house, it’s well ventilated, and the door locks so people can’t come bug me. You may not live somewhere with such a nice setup, but the same overall principles still apply. Find somewhere out of the way, preferably with a door between you and everywhere else, and ask to make sure you aren’t disturbed. I don’t ever actually lock the attic. I’ve just asked my family to please not bother me when I’m practicing, and for the most part I’m left alone. Hopefully, your family will do the same.
Set an app on your devices that blocks you from doing stuff during your designated practice time. If your schedule is really irregular, then you’ll want to do this the morning of the day you decide to practice. There are plenty of apps that will block you from using the internet for a specific amount of time. One that I like is Forest, which keeps your phone on that specific app and allows you to grow a tree. If you leave, your tree dies – don’t kill your tree! Having something specifically to prevent you from goofing off instead can really help you focus.
Have someone remind you. Both my Mom and my SO can attest – I use them as external sources of discipline. I often just don’t waaaaanna practice/do X chore/sit down and write. However, it’s much easier for me to start when it’s someone else telling me to do the thing. So external reminders it is.
Set up summer lessons. This is the extreme of just having someone remind you. By maintaining lesson deadlines, even during the summer, you force yourself to keep practicing. Otherwise all the money that went into your lesson just goes to waste. That can be painful, as can disappointing your teacher. Sometimes you need those negative consequences to keep you going – that’s okay! Do what you have to in order to keep improving!