Have you ever struggled to focus while practicing your instrument? Most of us would probably answer yes. Whether it’s due to the noisy sounds outside, to thoughts of everything you need to get done, or to any other distractions we may experience, these hindrances can make it difficult to have quality practice. So let’s talk about what you can do to optimize your practice space and to help avoid distractions.
Choosing a Practice Space
- Find a place in your home where you can have solitude. You don’t want a space where you may have frequent interruptions. Whether that’s in a study, a corner in your room, or your living room, just make sure it’s a place you can go and be as alone as possible.
- Make sure there is good lighting, such as by a window or with lamps. Being able to see your instrument and music without straining your eyes is very important.
- If you have pets, consider putting them in another room or outside so they don’t create noise or disturb you. While this is fine for casual playing, it can detract from thoughtful practice.
- If able, choose a room with pleasurable acoustics so your sound is clear and enjoyable.
What Materials Do I Need?
- Music books and/or sheet music
- Pencils for writing notes
- A notepad with your goals for the week
- Metronome (there are metronome apps available, as well)
- Any music supplies your instrument requires: reeds, strings, rosin, cork grease, a tuner, etc.
- A glass of water
It’s All in the Details
- Choosing a chair is key. You want a chair that is both comfortable and supports you. If you play an instrument that requires air, you want a chair that will promote proper technique: no slouching or hindering of movement.
- Choose a space with an ideal temperature. You don’t want to be overly hot or cold during your practice time.
- Keep it organized. Add in a bookshelf if needed and have your materials within reach. Constantly having to go get something will hinder your practice.
Make it Your Own
- Don’t be afraid to add things you enjoy. Add in a candle to help your mood, an inspirational poster to keep you motivated, or a knick-knack to make it more “you”.
- If you’re not sure how to tailor your space to you, look up some ideas on Etsy or Pinterest.
It may seem strange to put so much thought into your practice space, but it will help get rid of those pesky distractions and give you every opportunity to have optimal practice time. It will also strongly benefit in-home lessons if you have them. Ultimately, creating a positive, healthy practice environment will aid you in accomplishing your goals and furthering your musicianship.