Practice Tip of the Week:
Create Three Types of Deadlines

It’s one thing to say you’re going to learn a new piece
of music. It’s entirely different to say you’re going
to learn this music in three weeks.

Having a deadline changes your behavior, alters your
thinking, and focuses your practicing.

Without a deadline, you can fall victim to Parkinson’s Law:
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its

Translation? It could take you FOREVER to master the music.

So, let’s look at setting deadlines:

1st Type of Deadline
The best type of deadline is a performance or audition.
The date is usually set by someone else, and you have to
be ready by then.

And, with performances or auditions, you’ll be motivated
to do well. Some people fear making a fool of themselves
in public. Others take pride in showing the world their
accomplishments. Either way, playing publicly is an amazing
motivation tool.

2nd Type of Deadline
The next best type of deadline is playing for someone else.
It’s great to have other people hold you accountable!

Here are a few suggestions:

· Have an informal performance for a small group of
friends or family.

· Schedule a specific date on which you and another musician
will play for each other and critique each other.

· Schedule a rehearsal so you’ll have to be ready by that date.

· If you’re taking lessons, set a date with your teacher when
you will do a complete runthrough of the music you’re learning.

3rd Type of Deadline
One last type of deadline makes you accountable only to yourself
and is the hardest deadline to meet. For this strategy, select a
date when you will hold a mock performance.

For this performance you will record a runthrough in your practice
space. No one else will be there, and you’ll serve as your own
audience when you listen to the recording.

Without deadlines, you might or might not learn any new material.
After all, there will be no consequences if you don’t, and no
rewards if you do.

What to Do With This Information
I want you to do two things right away:

First, create a deadline for sometime in the next 4 days when
you will play through something you’re practicing, record the
runthrough, and listen back to the recording.

Second, schedule another deadline – within the next 2 weeks –
when you will play that same music for someone else and listen
to their comments.

To Your Musical Success!