Practice Room: Setting Yourself Up For Success

Make Music Day

When starting (or re-starting) a practice regimen, dedicating a little time to establishing a space for your work is really helpful. If you are fortunate enough to have a practice room, that is very lucky, and you can really have fun making a personal, creative and inspiring space for yourself to work in, but many of us have to try to fit our music work in and around our other living and working spaces, and it can be difficult to do this in a way that supports focus and minimizes distractions. 

Finding a way to visually set aside space is very important, and can encourage more practice to happen, especially if the space is comfortable, inviting, and inspiring. You can create a visual practice space a very small area, using simple tools that are available to anyone, like sheets of paper and sticky notes, or a cork board. 

Locate a spot where you will be able to work on your instrument; this might be in a corner of a room, for example. If you don’t have a place that is always available, but rather you have to pack up everything between sessions, then you can use a large piece of cardboard that can sit on your music stand, and add notes and prompts to that. This can be put away as necessary, but while you’re practicing it will fill your field of vision and help to keep your focus. 

In this designated area, post notes to yourself with your current objectives for practice, and reminders to yourself of things you are working on. This might be learning a new technique, or a new scale, or reminding you to go back to something you haven’t worked on for some time; it can also be more about encouragement—remember to stay positive and be kind to yourself when you are working on your instrument. Music should be an enjoyable thing, but it is easy to become self critical when one is struggling with a challenging piece of music or technical skill. Most importantly, when someone says something nice and encouraging to you about your playing, write that down, and post it prominently!

As well as writing notes which are very practical things, it is fun and valuable to be as creative as you want to be with your space; think about adding artistic visual prompts to the space as well. Album cover art and concert posters are a very important part of musical identity, so why not find some that you love, that remind you of how you would like to sound, and put these up in your practice space as well. Have fun with it, and if you feel like sharing your space with us we would love to see a photo! You can post it on Instagram with the hashtag #MakeMusicPractice