The Homework / Practice Crunch
You enjoy playing the violin either by yourself, with a group at school, or with the other students in the Suzuki Group class. By middle school and high school, you have seen the rewards of practice and of sticking with something–violin. At the same time, by middle school, some students find themselves with a lot of homework. Certainly, by high school many students have to navigate that challenge. Just like with everything in life, it is how you handle challenges, not that the challenge appears.
Creativity and Planning
1: Keep your violin ready to play in a safe place. If you can easily get your hands on the violin, you are more likely to use it. At the end of the day, you could put in away in the case. There is such thing as a horizontal violin holder which gives more support than a vertical holder.
2: Turn your phone / devices off. That step alone will give you many more minutes of valuable time.
3: Be creative about getting your homework done. Nibble away at it one bite at a time. Take advantage of small chunks of time during the day. Often the middle and high school student will find a few minutes between classes or even longer blocks of time to start an assignment and finish later. Some students are able to get assignments started during the commute home. As for practice, you don’t have to have the perfect 45 minutes or an hour all lined up neatly in one package. 15-20 minutes here and there add up quickly. I wrote another post about practicing the violin to see progress referring to the Cube Timer, something you can use for homework and for practice.
4: Try doing some practice in the morning. Although reports say adolescents like to sleep in, some don’t. If you are one of those, take advantage of that time to get a little practice in. You might be in a better mood afterwards just starting the day off playing some beautiful music.
5: Use the violin practice time to relax, a time to be away from the rigors of academics. If a student develops that mindset, then practice becomes an enjoyable break from the routine. Do math homework, stop and practice for 15 minutes. Do science homework, and when done, stop again.
6: Along those same lines, high school students might find practice a healthy way to wind down for the night after completing their academic assignments. Practicing is better for the brain than any screen time (which reportedly stimulates the brain to stay awake). They can use a mute to avoid inconveniencing the family.
“Music to me is like breathing. I don’t get tired of breathing. I don’t get tired of music.” Ray Charles
Other posts about practice