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Struggling to Stay Motivated with Practice? 8 Helpful Tips You Need to Check Out

 by Autumn Huerter

A teen girl playing guitar takes music lessons in Kansas City

When you are taking music lessons in Kansas City, one of the first things your instructor will tell you is that practicing at home is extremely important. After all, these lessons are only just a fraction of your musical experience. Taking what you have learned during your lessons and applying it to your practice is how these concepts become second nature and work to improve the quality of your performances.

That being said, if you find yourself struggling with staying motivated during practice, you are not alone. Every musician has been there a time or two! The important part is to find a way to break out of this slump and find motivation to keep practicing. Today, our team here at Music House has compiled a list of tips you won’t want to miss.

1.) Create a consistent practice schedule.

One of the most important elements to practicing an instrument is to make sure you have a set practice schedule. Section off a time each day for at least 20 minutes of practice. Be mindful to select a time that is ideal for you to stay focused during practice. For example, if you are a student and want to use music to decompress after class, hop into practice right after school. Or, if you are someone who needs some time to mentally regroup before doing another task, then opt to practice later in the evening. There is no right or wrong answer - it’s simply what works best for you!

2.) Make room for fun and creativity.

It is no secret that the fundamentals are important, as is playing a piece of music exactly as it is written. However, if you feel as though your practice has gotten boring or stiff, don’t be afraid to mix things up and have some fun! Is there a piece of contemporary music that you’ve been wanting to try? Have a pop song from the radio stuck in your head? Give it a whirl! Your practice time provides an excellent window of opportunity to explore these different creative avenues and allows you to try your hand at new things.

3.) Attend a local concert.

Whether you play the clarinet, the drums, the guitar, or any other instrument in between, going to a concert can be a great way to light your musical fire again. Seeing other musicians perform can be very inspiring and even can give you ideas for songs or techniques you want to try. During the holiday season, there are a multitude of symphony orchestras and choral music concerts that you can attend to expose yourself to a wider variety of music and performers, some of which are even free to attend! Attending concerts is the perfect way to engage with music without having to play an instrument yourself. 

4.) Talk with your instructor.

When you are taking music lessons in Kansas City, one of the first things you will learn is that your instructor is there to support you and encourage you. Trust us - they have been there, done that, and fully understand what it means to feel discouraged or burnt out when it comes to music. If you are struggling with motivation, don’t be afraid to be honest with your instructor. They will gladly listen to your concerns and even help provide feedback and support that you will need to get through these difficulties. 

5.) Keep track of your progress.

If there is one thing that is true, we are our own worst critics. Sometimes it can be hard to see your progress and the milestones you’re reaching because you can only zero in on the mistakes or hiccups. Keep track of your progress and provide a visual aid to help you understand just how much you’ve improved. Video recording your practices using your phone can also help you see and hear everything that you’re doing well, and might even help you spot any glaring errors, such as a mistake in posture or breathing. 

A young man records himself playing guitar to watch and review later

6.) Check your expectations at the door.

Setting musical goals is very important and allows you to keep track of your progress and milestones that you’re reaching. On the other hand, however, it can also cause unreasonable expectations. These expectations, if unmet, can snowball into frustration and burnout. Learning an instrument is really tough work and takes years of practice to get down. Even then, there is still always something new to learn. Don’t be afraid to check your expectations at the door and take learning one day at a time. This will help you have a healthier, more grounded approach to learning and playing music.

7.) Practice with your friends.

Let’s face it: solo practice can get really boring. Playing in a group or ensemble can be really motivating as it opens you up to a whole new wealth of music and ideas. Whether you practice with a group that plays the same instrument as you, or you want to join a band, either is an excellent choice. During your music lessons in Kansas City, talk with your instructor about the idea of joining up with other students and see what they say. It can be formally or informally, doesn’t matter! So long as it helps you find your spark again and inspires you to keep creating music. 

8.) Reward yourself.

For adult learners or even older teenagers, it can be tough to come up with your own reward system to treat yourself for practice and a job well done. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you still deserve to be recognized and rewarded for your hard work! Take a moment to think about what you might like to see from a reward system. It can be something as simple as treating yourself to a new guitar pick after a week of solid practice or a trip to your favorite takeout place after learning a brand new song. You deserve it!

Music Lessons in Kansas City

If you haven’t yet, one of the best ways to stay motivated with your practice is to sign up for music lessons. Here at Music House, our music lessons in Kansas City are available for a wide array of instruments, including vocal, piano, guitar, and more. Visit our website for more information and book your first lessons today! We know our great team of talented instructors will be eager to help you become the best musician you can be.

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Written by Autumn Huerter
Autumn Huerter
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