The Musician’s Practice Planner can be used as a motivational tool to keep musicians on the path of success.  By writing down two key pieces of information, you can use your Practice Planner to clearly guide your achievements.

These two are:

1.  How many days you will practice this week.

2.  How long you will practice on each of those days.

With this information in writing, you have a guideline for the week and a clearly measurable goal.  You can and should feel successful when you reach your goal for the week.

It’s important to make this plan every week to overcome a significant difficulty for musicians: Practicing only when you want to.

Many musicians make the mistake of practicing only when they “feel like it.”  They wait for inspiration and a strong desire to play music before they get started practicing.  This attitude generally leads to very little practicing and very little forward progress.

Thomas Edison famously said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.  I think the same could be said about success.  Hard work is simply more valuable than feeling inspired if you want to be successful at achieving your musical goals.

Write down the amount of time you’ll practice this week.  Be realistic about your responsibilities and your schedule.  Plan ahead.  If you decide that you will practice 6 days this week, for a minimum of 45 minutes on each of those days, than write it down in your Practice Planner at the beginning of the week.

Find a spot in your Musician’s Practice Planner to write down this information consistently.  By putting your weekly practicing goals in the same place every week, you build up a positive habit that will help you stick to your plans.

There are several places in the Musician’s Practice Planner where my students generally write down their time goals for the week:

  • The  top of the Weekly Lesson Plan page (the left page)
  • The top of the Daily Practice Log page (the right page)
  • In the “Special Notes for the Week” section of the left page
  • In the “Other” section of the left page

Every day, you have to get started with your practicing–no matter what.  It will be easy to keep going once you begin.  Even if you’re tired and don’t feel inspired to play, follow your plan.

Use the information you wrote down at the beginning of the week to keep you motivated every day.  This plan is a promise and a commitment you made to yourself about achieving goals.  Stick to your plan today.