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vrgtfvgt4vg Offline
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Worst Procrastinator ever! (Music advice needed) - June 10th 2012, 02:13 AM

I leave yearlong projects until the night before they do and start homework at 2 am, but what's been bothering me lately is my inability to begin practicing music and stay practicing, not getting bored and running off.

This happens every non-school day. It always goes like this:

Wake up: 8 to 10 am (OMG! I'm totally going to spend all day practicing)
Go on computer, read a book, jump on bed, goof around: 10 to four pm
Fall asleep 4 to six pm (I wasted the day, but I can still practice a little)
Eat Dinner: 7pm (I can still practice after dinner)
Screw around some more: 7 to 10pm (Oops)

So I never actually get practicing done. Even if I do start practicing I get distracted really easily by everything. I play for like two minutes and then run off and do something else. I told my teacher this and he said, "It's because you're not focused enough." Well, no sh*t, Sherlock. Even in areas other people don't get distracted, I do.

I get kind of used to just scraping by with practicing. I do really well in class. I'm one of the best musicians and the teacher likes me a lot. I get a speech every week about how I could be so much better if I practiced more though.

I also don't pay much attention when I practice, e.g. playing in the wrong clef, wrong position, or wrong key.

Last edited by vrgtfvgt4vg; June 10th 2012 at 10:22 PM.
   
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Re: Worst Procrastinator ever! (Music advice needed) - June 10th 2012, 08:34 PM

Hey there,

I definitely hear ya on the procrastination thing. It's something I've struggled with for a long time, especially in terms of improving my guitar skills. It really is hard to stay focused sometimes and I'm sure it's even worse when you already know you're a good musician. But, the only way to get better is to continue practicing, which is something you already seem to be aware of.

One of the most important things you can do is to remove yourself from areas where you're likely to get distracted. For example, practicing in your room might not be your best bet because all your favorite things are in there. Seriously, find the most boring place in your house and stick yourself there. It works wonders at helping you stay focused. Once you do that, set a timer for yourself. Make a goal to practice for 30 minutes, an hour, or any other time that will work for you. Trust me, it'll go by faster than you know.

If you're not sure you'll find the will to make time for practice, think about making a schedule for yourself. It might seem tedious, but taking the time to sit down and block out practice times now will save you a lot of stress and lectures later. Trust me, your music teachers really do want to see you shine. It's part of the reason they push you so hard. So, take a little bit of time to practice and remind them that their efforts really are worthwhile. It'll please them and I'm sure you'll be insanely proud of yourself when you master a new skill on your instrument after all of your hard work.

Take care!


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Re: Worst Procrastinator ever! (Music advice needed) - June 11th 2012, 10:32 AM

It is really hard work practicing. I am a music student at uni and we're advised to do three hours a day (as if I've ever done that! HAH!) You've gotta find whats realistic for you. If i did 45 minutes a day at uni I was very happy. That is nothing compared to what some of these guys do, but it is a lot for me - I hate practicing and only do it when I really have to.

Before I came to uni I'd do about 20 minutes a day. I did it straight after school when nobody was in so that no one could hear me. Also if you do it as soon as you can when you get home or when you wake up it's out of the way. You know that if you think "i'll do it later", its never going to get done. The earlier you do it the better and then you don't have to worry about it and can spend the rest of the day napping/reading/jumping on beds guilt free. Start with short sessions first, like maybe just five minutes, then ten minutes, until you get up to what your teacher reccomends.

What instrument do you play? Is it one that you can join a band of some kind? I play the trumpet and joined a youth wind band when I was 11 and if it wasnt for that I reckon I'd have quit years ago. Bands/ensembles and stuff mean that you can enjoy playing your instrument, make new friends, learn new music, and that rehearsal time sort of counts as practice too! And it motivated me to practice in my own time too and get better.

And when it comes to playing in the wrong key or clef, that is a big waste of your time and it won't help you at all if you are purposely playing wrong notes. Instead of doing that, and then doing it all again in the proper clef or key why don't you just start your practice properly and then effectively your practice time is halved (as you don't have to repeat it all again.)

Good luck!




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Re: Worst Procrastinator ever! (Music advice needed) - June 11th 2012, 06:47 PM

Hey there, I've moved your thread to General, because I don't think that it fits in Addictive Behaviors and I wanted to make sure that it got the best chance of replies.

I'm a terrible procrastinator. My best advice is to decide to practice for set blocks of time through the day, instead of giving yourself the whole day. For example, say you get up at nine, decide to start practicing at ten, do an hour then take a break. Do another hour at another point in the day. Whatever routine suits you. But make sure it's a routine, and that you can stick to it (leave space for lunch, going out, whatever). When you give yourself the whole day, it's so easy to say 'oh I have the whole day, I'll do it later'.

Also, when you're practicing, if you find that you're making the same mistakes over and over again, stop practicing and take a break. It's not worth learning bad habits.

Good luck.

Edit: It appears that a General mod has moved this to Education and Careers. I didn't think of moving it here.


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Last edited by Evanesco; June 11th 2012 at 07:14 PM.
   
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Re: Worst Procrastinator ever! (Music advice needed) - June 11th 2012, 07:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by niente_ View Post
It is really hard work practicing. I am a music student at uni and we're advised to do three hours a day (as if I've ever done that! HAH!) You've gotta find whats realistic for you. If i did 45 minutes a day at uni I was very happy. That is nothing compared to what some of these guys do, but it is a lot for me - I hate practicing and only do it when I really have to.

Before I came to uni I'd do about 20 minutes a day. I did it straight after school when nobody was in so that no one could hear me. Also if you do it as soon as you can when you get home or when you wake up it's out of the way. You know that if you think "i'll do it later", its never going to get done. The earlier you do it the better and then you don't have to worry about it and can spend the rest of the day napping/reading/jumping on beds guilt free. Start with short sessions first, like maybe just five minutes, then ten minutes, until you get up to what your teacher reccomends.

What instrument do you play? Is it one that you can join a band of some kind? I play the trumpet and joined a youth wind band when I was 11 and if it wasnt for that I reckon I'd have quit years ago. Bands/ensembles and stuff mean that you can enjoy playing your instrument, make new friends, learn new music, and that rehearsal time sort of counts as practice too! And it motivated me to practice in my own time too and get better.

And when it comes to playing in the wrong key or clef, that is a big waste of your time and it won't help you at all if you are purposely playing wrong notes. Instead of doing that, and then doing it all again in the proper clef or key why don't you just start your practice properly and then effectively your practice time is halved (as you don't have to repeat it all again.)

Good luck!
During the school year I'm in two orchestras.

I do a lot better practicing after school than I do on the weekends. Which worries me, I'll need to practice on my own during the summer. I like practicing () when I can get started and sustain attention. I practice wrong by accident. My teacher will point it out. Whoops.

It would be a lot better to just start and not waste so much time.

Last edited by vrgtfvgt4vg; June 11th 2012 at 07:11 PM.
   
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