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Practise Journal 1

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

Music is a language, a science and an art. It takes practice and perseverance.

The lessons that you have with your teacher are best utilised in learning new things, in expanding your skills, abilities and repertoire and troubleshooting any issues that you may have had during your practice that week.

Memory is a funny thing and if new ideas and skills aren't practised regularly after we first learn them they fade away and are not retained. This is why your tutor assigns you work to practise so that you can imprint that new skill into your ability and skill set.

There are times it is not possible to attend your lessons at one of our studios. It maybe that a parent cannot drop you off, or maybe you have to stay home for health reasons; or sometimes the activities of life just prevents it.

At this time your practice is very important to keep the skills fresh in your mind. Your tutor can send you additional exercises if you need them by video, picture, email or audio file.

If you want to be as good as you can be, practise as much as you can. Along with Attendance, Practice is of VITAL importance to progress quickly and without issue.


S: Specific: Get Clear On What You Want.

Allow yourself 5 or 10 minutes to think about what you want from your practice this week.

What did you music teacher tell you to work on?

Work through the questions in the order below and write your answers in the present tense.

1. Where do you want to get to with your music this week?

2. What if there were no obstacles?

3. How do you want it to sound at your next lesson?

4. What will you complete each day to achieve this?


Would it help to add your goals to the group and post a comment each day showing your achievement? I find a note book helps a lot, but recently I have been using audio summaries I listen back to when I am walking to work.

Download this journaling page

Download PDF • 216KB


M: A measurable target.

How will you know you have achieved the target for today?

To have a target means that you need to have an idea on the place you want to be at the end of your practice time.

A goal achievable in one practice time is a small step to the final destination. These steps are measurable amounts that make the final destination achievable.

Write down your practice goals on this handy reminder sheet and stick it above your piano or keyboard. It's fun to write them in the white circles as you turn the page. The two circles enable you to have a two step target then tick the centre when it is complete. If you 'love' stickers like we do, add a gold star to the middle when done. Bring your completed sheet to your lesson for a sticker in Simon's Reception Sticker challenge. (Download a sticker sheet here)

Download Today's Practice Goals Journal Sheet

Download PDF • 528KB


A: An attainable goal

A goal needs to be attainable.

When you practice today make sure your mind is in the right place to focus on what is required.

Make sure you have the right music, maybe a metronome to help you keep the pulse steady or a pencil to make notes on the music.

Do you have the skills you require?

Maybe practising the scale first will ensure you don't forget a sharp or flat?

Try and prepare everything you anticipate needing.

This can include a drink, chewing gum or to nip to the toilet before you start to focus.

Keep a note of everything you need to do before you start a focused practice session and tick them off as you go.

Download this journaling sheet to track your targets

Download PDF • 91KB

R: Relevant targeting

Your practice should be relevant to reaching your goal.

If you goal is to improve the last line of the piece, practising from the beginning every time is not going to help.

Equally so if you are practising performance stopping for every mistake is going to improve your ability not to play the piece without stopping.

Your mind improves at whatever it does repeatedly, make sure you teach it the relevant actions to improve the area you are working on.

Complete a list of the steps to achieve your target.

Did you achieve them all in your practise?

What could you have done better?

What worked for you?


Would it help to add your goals to the group and post a comment each day showing your achievement? I find a note book helps a lot, but recently I have been using audio summaries I listen back to when I am walking to work.

Download this journal sheet

Download PDF • 280KB

T: Time

A goal without a time frame is difficult to achieve. You may not achieve it within the time space you have allowed. Things may slow you down or unforeseen circumstances may prevent things from happening, this is ok as it is part of life, you just re assign a portion of time. Look at the things that prevented you from achieving the work at that time? What can be learnt from it? How can this be managed in the future? Make note of any issues in a practise journal and have a chat about the in the group.

Download and complete this journal sheet for your records

Download PDF • 83KB

Practice playing because you want to

I hope you are learning your instrument because you want to. There are pieces we have to play, and then there are pieces we want to play. Today spend some time practising music because you want to. This can be your usual work if that is what you want to play, but it can also be other music. To enjoy and to play a piece just because you want to is one of the greatest joys Choose a colour for a clef, I have added two but you can add four more. Then colour a clef in for each piece you play because you want to.

How did you feel about it?

How can you improve your feelings towards the piece? How do you rate your effort towards this piece?

Did you achieve your goal? Do you need to reassess your goal?

Download this journalling sheet and write any thoughts on a spare sheet. Explore your reasons for playing today.

Download PDF • 321KB

Practice playing something with no reason

When I am thinking about what to practice I usually plan in my mind, even if it is playing for fun I think about what I am going to play or where the music is. Today, just play anything. It can be improvised, from memory, messing about on the keyboard; maybe try and find a song that you once knew or play the first piece of music you pick up (no setting the deck before hand! ) The most important thing is don't plan it, see what happens.

Use this journal sheet to catalogue your favourite pieces. You could just list them, colour code them all, put them in order of preference. So many options, share your methods in the group.

Download PDF • 81KB



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