Practice is probably the most important part of learning, progressing and maintaining skills on the violin - or any instrument. But you have to have a place to practice!
Ideally, a practice place has sufficient space, a backdrop of relative quiet, and enough privacy to allow uninhibited trial and error. It should be a place where no one will pound on your door and yell, "Stop that racket!" Even more ideally, it's a pleasant place, with good acoustics, a nice window, maybe even a piano...
If you live with other people and you practice at home, then naturally you have to work your practice space and time around the other people who live in the house, in case they are working, sleeping, talking on the phone, etc.
Personally, at this point I have a part of my home that is devoted to music, and it's also where I teach. But this wasn't always so. Growing up, I tended to head to the basement to practice, as it was a good hideaway where no one would bother me. In fact, for a while I practiced in a window-less furnace room, with a bare bulb as my light! Probably not ideal, but there were few distractions and I was able to accomplish a lot.
In college I sometimes practiced in practice rooms, but honestly I found all the racket distracting - as was the temptation to socialize! I preferred once again to sneak down to the basement of my dorm and practice in an empty room.
I've always dreamed of having a house with an ideal "conservatory" - complete with a grand piano, picture windows and high-end decorative rug. Even better if this area could be converted to a recital hall!
But a fancy practice area does not equate to effective practice. I've had some pretty effective practice sessions in weird places like empty hotel gym rooms, back rooms in churches, outdoors at camp, and of course, in the basement.
What is your current "practice space" like? Please participate in the vote and then tell us about the various places where you have practiced your instrument, and the pros and cons of those places.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.