Have you gotten a practice journal yet?

Sometimes when students practice, they end up playing through their music without stopping to work on difficult passages or improve their playing ability.

Does that sound like a good use of rehearsal time?

The key to developing as a successful musician is through productive practice, and the key to productive practice is through organized rehearsal. One of the simplest (and cheapest!) ways to do that is by using a practice journal.

Practice journals are a valuable resource for learning to play an instrument, which is why your student probably already has one if they’re a beginner. But what about after their first year or two of playing? This is where an individually stylized journal can really change your student’s practice!

They include:

  • Date and time of your practice
  • The goals for each practice session
  • A guided practice plan for each session
  • A section for notes

They track:

  • How long practices are
  • The pace at which you learn new information
  • The most and least successful practice techniques for you
  • Your responses to the success of your sessions

They benefit by:

  • Being an easy way to track progress
  • Keeping practice structured
  • Increasing your development speed

One of the reasons that practice journals are so effective is that they give your student structured practice. Organized practice maximizes efficiency by giving them specific goals to work toward and specific items to work through.

Think of it this way: a teacher does not go into a session without a lesson plan in place. Why should your student go into their session without one?

We took the liberty of making a free Practice Journal Template for you to try. If that’s not your style, you can make your own, download a template online, or purchase a full-sized practice journal. Enjoy!