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Practice Makes Perfect…Even During Summer!

Posted on June 25, 2024

Summer is a fantastic time of year filled with sunshine, vacations, and warm weather—huzzah! However, this time off can sometimes lead to learning loss, especially when it comes to music lessons. But don’t worry! There are ways to keep up with the progress you’ve made while still enjoying a summer break. Read on to discover how!

Balancing Relaxation and Commitment

Summer is supposed to be a time to rest and relax. However, it often isn’t—many times, there are suddenly loads of commitments (fun and otherwise) that overschedule designated “off-time.” Summer jobs, internships, camps, vacations, and activities all add up! Especially as kids move into their high school years, summer can become much fuller.

For example, we remember spending weeks at a time at marching band camps both in high school and college! Plus, there are sports conditioning events, travel, and all sorts of other things that take up lots of time. These activities are all important and can be huge influences on a student’s life and even their eventual career. However, before diving into strategies to combat learning loss, it’s crucial to emphasize that the most important thing one can do over the summer is rest and recover.

Avoiding Burnout

Burnout is something that starts younger and younger as we push ourselves to be better, faster, stronger, smarter, more productive, more successful, etc. By doing this, we miss out on the precious space summer (or any time off) gives us to truly set things down and focus on taking care of ourselves. Before adding more to your already busy summer schedule, check in with yourself and make sure that you are doing okay first! Once you are rested, relaxed, recovered, and ready—then you can put some of these ideas in place to make sure your hard musical work over the academic year stays in place!

Maintaining a Routine

The first suggestion we would make to anyone hoping to maintain habits over a long stretch of summer is to keep a routine. It can be very hard to do with a schedule that isn’t necessarily consistent or predictable. However, plan ahead with a goal for each week. This doesn’t need to be as extensive or strict as the school year practice schedule. Keeping up with at least fifteen minutes a day or two hours a week will make a significant difference.

Setting Musical Goals

Along with having time and schedule goals, setting repertoire or musical goals can help as well. Choose a piece you’ve worked on in lessons to continue practicing over the summer. Play one old piece each session. Find a piece you wouldn’t get to work on in your lessons and learn it on your own. Start on a big project piece that you can keep working on when lessons resume! Summer is the perfect opportunity to start on big works that you’ve always wanted to prepare but didn’t have the time to invest in during the academic year. Make your practice sessions a treat to yourself by playing things that you enjoy! Whatever will get you to play your instrument is what you should work on during breaks.

Considering Summer Lessons

Though this might not appeal to all, it’s worth considering: take some summer lessons! These could be weekly or biweekly, or even shorter than normal lessons (think 30 minutes instead of a full hour). Staying Engaged While Traveling

What do you do if you are traveling or unable to play your instrument for long stretches of time? There are quite a few things to try here! Number one is listening to the pieces you’re working on. Many of us learn aurally and listening to the music we are preparing can help us organize it in our heads. Finger through those difficult passages while sitting in the car or on a plane. Take your music with you and look at it while you listen. Do some analysis! Older students can benefit a lot in the music theory department when applying it to music they have a stake in. Engage with your music in ways you ordinarily wouldn’t—you might be surprised by how much this helps when you come back to your instrument!

Comprehensive Music Lessons in the East Bay

At Pleasanton Academy of Music, we offer a wide range of music lessons in the East Bay to keep your musical journey on track, even during the summer. Whether you’re looking for a private piano teacher in the East Bay, piano lessons for adults, piano lessons for toddlers, or violin lessons, our experienced instructors are ready to help you achieve your musical goals.

Our offerings also include saxophone lessons, guitar lessons, singing lessons, drum and percussion lessons, trumpet lessons, tuba classes, French horn practice in Pleasanton, baritone classes in the Bay Area, euphonium lessons in the East Bay, and trombone lessons in the East Bay. We also specialize in music test preparation, including CM music test preparation, Certificate of Merit test preparation, and ABRSM exam preparation.

Our music school in the East Bay is dedicated to providing a comprehensive music education, including competition preparation and a state-of-the-art music studio. Whether you’re aiming for excellence in performances or simply want to enjoy music as a hobby, we have the right program for you.

Enjoy Your Summer!

Happy summer, and best of luck to all of you as you pursue your break time adventures. Make sure to take care of yourself, rest, and recover! Cheers!

Join us at Pleasanton Academy of Music for an enriching musical education in the East Bay. Contact us today to learn more about our exceptional music lessons and how we can help you achieve your musical dreams.

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