Looking for something to help you stay motivated over the holiday break? Consider taking a 30 Day Practice Challenge. I’m a big fan of these for physical fitness, and have completed several over the past year. In short, the idea is to perform a brief activity or series of activities each day for thirty consecutive days. Some of the challenges build in length and intensity, while others remain constant over the entire period. The challenge in that case is maintaining the routine. While not a substitute for a full fitness or (horn practice) routine, 30 Day Challenges are fun, and in my experience, really do provide benefits. Here are some more specific reasons for trying a 30 Day practice challenge:
- Small, daily goals are easily achievable.
- Fixed amount of time keeps you motivated to finish the challenge.
- After 30 days you can change to a new challenge, or continue!
- Excellent template for establishing positive habits.
- If 30 Days seems too long (or too short), modify to a 15 Day or 60 Day challenge.
If these seem like compelling reasons, here are some ideas to get you started. These can and should be modified however you like. The important things to do are 1) pick something and 2) stick to it!
- Minimum amount of practice time (example: 1 hour of practice per day)
- One Kopprasch/Maxime-Alphonse/Other standard etude per day
- Same melody, different transposition each day, cycle through all keys multiple times
- One melody per day from Arban’s “The Art of Phrasing: 150 Classic and Popular Melodies,” Concone Lyrical Studies, or any other similar collection,
- 10 minutes of long tones per day, varying ranges
This will likely be my last post of 2017, and I would like to wish all my readers Happy Holidays and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous start to 2018!