Step 1 Towards Consistency: The Practice Pledge
One of the key elements to the success of consistency in practice is an accountability partner. Very few musicians, or people in general, claim to have achieved success all on their own. According to Dr. Tim Church when speaking to The New York Times, “If you want to keep people doing a behavior, get a buddy.” We all do better with support, which brings us to step 1 of the practice awards: The Practice Pledge.
Students must fill out a Practice Pledge with their parent or accountability partner to begin working towards the Practice Awards. Before filling it out, make sure to complete the following steps:
- Determine how many practice awards you wish to strive for. If you wish to participate on more than one instrument, be prepared to fill out the Practice Pledge for each instrument.
- Determine the number of minutes you wish to pledge. The pledge will be a real commitment that you’ll need to be able to stick to 6 days a week for 10 weeks. Think it through; what’s right for you in this time of your life? What amount of practice will help you achieve your personal goals?
- 30 minutes a day (the minimum you can pledge for the Practice Awards)
- 1 hour a day
- 1 hour & 30 minutes a day
- 2 hours a day
- 3 hours a day
- 4 hours a day
- Check with your teacher to make sure they approve of your number of minutes. They must approve your minutes before you can complete the Practice Pledge. Your teacher will consider carefully as well! For instance:
- Is the amount of practice achievable for my student based on their past progress?
- Will the amount of practice pledged help my student achieve their personal goals?
- Will the amount of practice pledged help my student learn repertoire at their skill level?
- Is the amount of practice unnecessary based on my student’s goals?
- Is the amount of practice too big of a jump for my student?
- If you’re planning to upload recordings to YouTube you’ll need to have your playlist link ready before filling out the Practice Pledge. (See instructions later on in this article).
Now you’re ready! Grab a seat at the table with your accountability partner take the first step towards consistency! Fill out:
Step 2 Towards Consistency: Start Recording
There are several ways to record practice. Sometimes finding the best tool for you can make a big difference in the success of a student’s progress and consistency. Here are some things to consider:
- If you’re planning to submit video recordings to YouTube:
- Do you have a fast internet connection? Upload speed can make a tremendous difference on the amount of time needed to upload videos.
- Are you recording with a video device? If you’re recording audio, you’ll need to complete a few additional steps to submit a video to YouTube.
- Check out our Instruction Page for more information on YouTube submission.
- If you’re planning to submit recordings in person at Vance Music:
- Does the device you’re recording on have enough storage space? Often times, students and parents reach for their phone first when pursuing the practice awards. It is easy to take video or audio recordings on your phone, but do you have plenty of storage space that you can allocate to practice recordings for an entire week?
- Does the device you’re recording on have built-in storage or removable storage (i.e. an SD card)? If you only have built-in storage, you’ll have to transfer your recordings to another device. Do you have the skills and time required to complete this step? If you have removable storage, you can just pop the card out of the device and walk in to the studio.
- Do you have more than 1 storage device (i.e. SD card, USB drive, external hard drive, etc.)? You’ll need to leave 1 storage device at Vance Music for a full week to give instructors time to process the recordings. In order to submit recordings on time the following week, you’ll need a second device.
- If you run into tech issues, give us a shout! Send your teacher an email and we may be able to walk you through the issue.
Step 3 Towards Consistency: Log Your Practice
After you submit your Practice Pledge, Marissa will process it and issue you a Student ID. You will receive the Student ID by email. Students who play multiple instruments will have different Student IDs for each instrument, and should fill out a separate practice pledge for each of their instruments. If you have not filled out the 2024 Practice Pledge, please do so before continuing. If you have not received a Student ID after filling out the 2024 Practice Pledge and waiting 1-2 business days, please contact Marissa via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The following Google forms will not be open until the first Practice Pledge has been processed. Once the Google forms are open, you have your Student ID, and you have reached the end of week 1, you can fill out the “Pledged Minutes: Quarter 1 of 2024” form to log your daily practice. If you miss minutes or days of practice, you’ll also need to fill out the “Makeup Minutes: Quarter 1 of 2024” form once the practice has been made up.
Congratulations on taking these first steps towards consistency through the Practice Awards!