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28 Days of Practicing: Day 28

Claire Allen

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Published: November 23, 2013 at 4:22 AM [UTC]

If you've been following along from the beginning, today is the final day of the 28 Day Practice Project. The point of this project was never to practice for 28 days straight, but to use the unique focus of each week to gain new insights into your playing and your practice habits.

As you might imagine from my previous blog posts, I had a whole bunch of reflection questions planned for the end of this project, but I've decided to keep it much more simple and open-ended.

There's really just one thing that matters: Did this month change your practicing?

You can go deeper into this question, naturally - how, specifically, did your practicing change? Did you like it? Did you get better as a violinist? What will you be incorporating into your practice routine from here on out? - but the main question remains: has your practicing been changed by this experience?

For me, being accountable to my students and the entire internet for my practicing really helped my own practice. I'm in a new stage of my life as a violinist. For the last sixteen years, I was a violin student. I attended weekly lessons, was in school or youth orchestras, and school-run chamber groups. My musical life was very structured. I graduated from Peabody with my master's degree in May and to be honest, my personal practice has been very unstructured. I wasn't sure what to address in my technique. I wasn't sure what repertoire worked for me to play. And with no one to be accountable to and a teaching career to start building, my energy went into designing structure for my students, not my personal practice.

This project got me practicing regularly again. Well, this project, and the recital I had last week! The best practice motivation I've found is having a performance to prepare for. The other thing I realized is how much I need structure in my practicing. I practice best when I have a plan made in advance that includes exactly what to practice and how much time I have to practice it. Knowing that I had to blog about my practice and that my students would see how much I practiced on the chart in our studio really added extra motivation.

Thank you so much to all of you for following this series of posts. I really hope they've helped you. I know writing them has helped me. Wishing you all the best in your practicing!

To start all over from the beginning, check out the post on my blog!

From Sue Buttram
Posted on November 23, 2013 at 4:39 PM
I have enjoyed this series about practicing, in fact, I have been sending links to all my students with the hope that they will be inspired by your thoughts and ideas. Thank you.

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