We forget almost everything we’re exposed to.  Can you imagine if this were not the case?  Your memory would be overflowing with every single item you see, every sound you hear, and every action you take–day in and day out.

Your brain is constantly filtering out information that doesn’t seem important.

This filter has a profound effect on learning to play your instrument.  If you want something you’re working on to make its way into your long-term memory, you have to get through the filter.  You must make certain elements of your music seem very important to give them a place in your memory.

Aiding your memory is one of the key uses of a music practice log like the Musician’s Practice Planner.  First, you absolutely must keep a to-do list of your most important practice items.  Keeping this list in writing will ensure that you remember to go through everything on the list.  Second, keeping a daily practice log will help you remember where to start in today’s practice session.  Seeing your notes from yesterday will jog your memory.

Here’s the ugly truth: Most musicians won’t remember what they did in yesterday’s practice session.  They’ll forget what sections still need work.  They’ll forget their current metronome markings.  They’ll forget exactly what they hoped to return to the next time they pick up their instrument.

The bad news is that many musicians are frustrated by these feelings every day.  They don’t take any action to help their memories, and their musical progress is slow.

The good news?  You can help your memory with a written practice log.  It’s an incredibly easy step that will make your practicing more efficient.

It’s normal to forget.  Remembering actually takes a special effort.

So, make it easy on yourself and be sure to use a music practice log.  Taking a couple minutes to write down what you’re doing will save you hours of wasted practice time, help get rid of frustration, and give you a way to learn faster.

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