The Music Habit
Learn how to form habits for your musical training which make it easy to get consistent results.
After completing this module: you will know what music practice you want to integrate into your life and how to make it a habit.
Becoming a great musician is a long and sometimes challenging journey. One way to make it easier on yourself is to form good habits for music. But what exactly is a “good” habit and how do you actually form one which you will stick to in the long term?
In this module you’ll discover easy ways to form music habits which ensure you reach your goals.
- How long will it take
- How much to practice
- How often to practice
- What to practice
- Who will help
Here is a preview of the Introduction to this module:
We all know that becoming a great musician requires consistent practice. Whether it’s mastering your instrument technique, understanding music theory, developing your musical ear, or rehearsing with a band, you need to regularly train in an effective way.
If you are in school or college this is relatively easy. You’ve probably been told what to practice, when, and how. But once you go beyond those structured systems—either to learn a new kind of musical skill or to pursue your musical development independently after graduation—suddenly the burden of figuring out the right approach to practising is entirely on you.
What exactly should you be practicing?
How long for, and how often should you do it?
How do you fit your planned practice in with the rest of your life?
… and what does it take to make sure each practice session is truly effective,
moving you steadily towards your musical goal?
It can feel overwhelming, and for many independent learners the result is unfortunately a scattered mess. They wander from course to course and lesson to lesson, going through spurts of enthusiasm and intense practice, followed by long periods without any practice at all. Despite putting in a lot of effort along the way, they never manage to accomplish much.
The solution to avoiding this wasted effort and unreached potential has two parts:
The first part, planning, is covered in detail in the Planning For Success module and won’t be repeated here.
The second part, actually following through on that plan and reaching the goal you set, is what this module is all about. As its name suggests, the secret lies in making practice a habit.
Why Music Must be a Habit
It is going to take time to accomplish all that you want to in music, and if you are relying solely on your willpower and discipline to ensure you practice regularly and effectively, it’s going to be an incredibly difficult journey. Even the most motivated individual has “off days” and periods of lowered drive, and so trying to maintain rock-solid discipline day after day and week after week is not a good solution.
Instead, this module teaches you to think carefully about what habits you can form which will lead you to the results you have in mind. It will take discipline to form the habit – but the beauty of habits is that once they are ingrained in your day-to-day behaviour, it no longer takes active effort or discipline to carry them out.
By changing your mindset towards music from one of “I must be disciplined” to “I have good habits” you can transform the long gruelling journey towards you goal into an easy enjoyable one which delivers you consistent rewards for your effort.
What Makes a Habit
You’ve probably thought about habits before when it comes to music practice. If you struggled to follow through and develop a habit which stuck, it’s likely that you didn’t have all the pieces required for successful habit creation.
In this module we’ll cover every aspect of forming a good music habit, so that you know exactly what you are trying to do and how best to make it happen.
Specifically, we’ll help you find your answers to:
- How often will you practice?
- How long will you practice for in each session?
- How will you connect musicality training to your instrument practice?
- How can you tailor training to the kind of music you love?
- Who will help you?
- How will you monitor your progress?
- What will you do to help you stay consistent?
- How long will it all take?
By the end of the module you’ll have a clear definition of the music practice habit you want to have, and an array of tools and tactics to help you develop your new habit.
You’ll also be introduced to five Accelerators which you can use to form a habit and get results from it more quickly.
We’ll begin with the final question above: How long is this all going to take?