I was nosing around facebook this afternoon and came across a link that led to a blog a colleague had started. This blog was a short-term experiment to log 500 hours of practice for the whole summer. I think it’s such a great idea that I’m starting my own. I have a pretty good track record for specific, time-limited projects. Last November I completed a 7-pictures-for-7-days photo project that spanned one year. A three-month, highly focused blog should be well within my ability.
- Practice at least four hours every day from now until September 1st, with an optional one day per week for rest. On days when I have performance(s) I will scale back in order to save my strength if I need to (i.e. long / taxing pieces of music).
- Update this blog at least every two or three days with my thoughts on practicing and discoveries I’ve made. The goal is to write something insightful that I might want to remember later (without having to retrace my footsteps in the practice room).
- Practicing is: playing my instruments or the time it takes to listen to a short recording I’ve made of myself playing. Because I’ll be participating in a rigorous music festival this summer I’ll include performances as practice, though it’s not really the same as being in a laboratory environment where you can experiment.
- Practicing is not: Listening to music, studying scores, being on a computer or phone, taking a break longer than a few minutes, taking a lesson, or listening to others perform in a masterclass.
Wish me luck! I picked 4 hours because it’s a bit outside of my comfort zone but it’s also a reasonable amount of time to get focused work done. I believe that if you are truly focused on what you’re doing, 4 hours should be plenty.