In 2018, my good friend and colleague, Griffin Candey asked me, “Megan, have you ever considered creating a Diva Buddy System?” which was the motivating factor behind that season of 29 Days to Diva. The subject of practice came up in 82% of the diva mentors’ responses to my interview questions! Clearly it’s a wildly important part of our work. So, we’re going to take a brief break from the administrative side of our careers and head back to the practice room!
Your 29 Days to Diva – Day 16 Assignment: Evaluate your practice habits
Before you can build a thriving professionally creative life, you need to have the goods. You gain the goods through practice and achievement. Good practice habits help you learn music faster, internalize the music better, steel yourself to deal with performance anxiety, and free yourself to be more musical and responsive in the moment. Some of those habits include: writing down a schedule, planning each practice session, and recording yourself.
Your level of busy ebbs and flows over time. But, practice is not a luxury item.
Our lives have so many demands. It is necessary to develop good practice habits or practice processes so that it happens without you having to move heaven and earth to get it done. Practice shouldn’t be the thing that fades out of your daily schedule when things get busiest. We want it to become the anchor in your day-to-day especially when things get overwhelming!
Have you tried creating a music-learning schedule (or a music-writing schedule) months in advance of the show (or the deadline) that allows enough time? In this case, “enough time” doesn’t mean “I can make it to the double bar barely avoiding a massive crash and burn scenario.” Your version of enough time is uniquely your own. You must develop your own process for really internalizing the music. You know that phrase, “perfect practice makes perfect”? This is how we work on the perfect practice part. Leveling-up your diva skills relies heavily on your practice habits and your music-learning schedule.
Develop self-awareness about your practice habits.
We’re going to cover many more aspects of practice during this month-long series. However, I wanted our micro-action for today to be about reviewing the quality of your practice habits/schedule.
One of the distinguishing features between how generalists practice and specialists/experts practice is that generalists mainly practice the things at which they are already skilled. They often lack the self-awareness to know what skills they’re missing. They proceed with limited knowledge on how to make more significant gains in skill, scholarship, or creative vision. Specialists and experts focus on also filling in those gaps during their practice time.
Review your practice habits.
Okay, divas, you know the importance of developing good practice habits and schedules. However, it’s time to turn your magnifying glass to your own practice process. What aspects are positively serving you? Can you identify what needs work? Here are some prompts to help you level-up:
- What is my current practice schedule?
- What are three ways I could make my schedule more efficient?
- What practice schedule makes me feel the most efficient?
- What are two triggers I use to get my butt into the studio more often?
- What is my current in-studio process?
- If I wrote out my schedule for another person to follow, it would look like:
- My current process differs from my idealized process by:
- The most important outputs during my practice studio time are:
- The time management system I like to use during practice is:
- The area that is currently my slowest stage of the process is:
- The skills I need to cultivate to fill in that gap are:
- What are my strongest parts of the practice process?
- The area in which I’m looking for a magic loophole in my practice process is:
- I’m going to fix that by:
- The way I build in accountability to my practice schedule is:
- The way I build in accountability to my practice process is:
Share your discoveries.
Did you make any discoveries when you answered these prompts? Any takeaways that you’ll be implementing into your process? I would love to know! You can share with me on the Sybaritic Singer Facebook page or get in touch with me directly on Twitter/Instagram. As always, I’m @mezzoihnen.