Is practicing your instrument becoming more of a chore than an enjoyable pastime? Check out these tips from Hayward, CA and online teacher Molly R. for making practice fun and getting out of the rut:
Sometimes as students and teachers, we lose sight of some pretty important things in music making: personality… and plain FUN!
Sure, there may be a handful of musicians out there that wow with their impeccable technique. But is that really enough? Think of yourself as an audience member for a moment and ask yourself which performances are the ones you really remember: the ones that appeared flawless, or those that touched you in some way?
We should ask ourselves the same thing as a musician in our day-to-day lives. Do you want to be perfect, or do you want to be interesting? It all starts in the studio or practice room.
Here are some ways to get out of your head and to start bringing the fun back into making music:
- Are you a singer? Well, if you’re learning a “serious” aria, why not sing it in the style of Katy Perry or Beyonce? Why not rap it? Instrumentalists… the same applies to you! Say you’re doing a jazz or classical piece that’s pretty difficult . Stand up and rock it Jerry Lee Lewis style and really use your body and attitude (no one’s looking! Go, Killer, go!).
- How about our basic warm ups? Those don’t have to be boring, either. Sing your scales using nonsense words. Swing the rhythms! Dance or sway or stomp and clap. Make funny faces. Use your imagination – the options are limitless!
Now after you have done some of these “crazy” (but hopefully fun!) things, sing or play as “you.” Record yourself. Are you amazed at the difference? You should be. Something magical just happened. By allowing yourself to cut loose , you will do wonders for your singing and playing. When the mind relaxes, so does the body!
As I tell my students, practicing should NEVER be a chore. There are plenty of ways for making practice fun by mixing it up and simply playing. My rule is “first, make it fun.” After all, isn’t that why you got into music in the first place?
Molly R. teaches online and in-person singing lessons in Hayward, CA. Her specialties include teaching beginner vocalists, shy singers, children, teens, lapsed singers, and older beginners. She joined TakeLessons in November 2013. Learn more about Molly here!
Photo by Hsing Wei