Practice is vital if you want to be successful at anything in life and nothing more so can be said of life as a musican. Music is continually moving on different directions meaning that you continually need to learn different ways to make music. You also need to make sure that you're totally confident with your instrument. When that opportunity comes up, and it will, you need to make sure you take it. It's likely you're only going to get one opportunity to really impress and if you blow simply because you've not practiced enough, it can be heart-breaking.
That all said, it's often difficult to find time the to practice your musical instrument if you have a full-time job. Even more difficult is to find time to practice with a full-time job and a young family.
In the past many talented musicians have probably given up their dream at this point but with the information and technology available, you don't necessarily have to. There is so much information available and so many ways of connecting with people via the Internet that with a few sacrifices and a lot of self belief you can still fulfill your dream
Below we're looking at ways to take your practice to the next level and not take a day job or young family as an excuse not to practice.
Make Practice into a Habit
Work out your most productive time of the day and set a routine around it. If, for example, you find your concentration is at its optimum in the morning wake up early enough to give yourself about an hour's practice.
It's not easy and at first you may have to force your self to make it a habit. Once it's part of your daily routine, however, it's difficult habit to break.
Take Advantage of Your Lunch Break
You may be working a 9 – 5 job, but there is one small window of practice; your lunch break. Take advantage of it. Find a quiet room and practice.
If you don't feel comfortable practicing at work, or your boss has problems with it, you can do other things connected to your instrument like learning to read music or read about different techniques.
Learning Whilst Out and About
Take the long route to work and listen to podcasts and read books connected to the kind of music you want to learn. You may even be lucky enough to have a boss or job that allows you to listen to your iPod while you work.
Create Your Own Practice Group
Set up your own practice group with a group of friends or through a website such as Meetup.com. There are so many advantages to doing this.
First of all you get to practice in what will hopefully become a fun environment. Second, you will be able to learn from others. Third you will have a valid excuse to get out of work early or leave the house to practice.
Get Domestic Help
Most people with children struggle juggling caring for their family and holding down a job; let alone finding the time to practice a musical instrument. If you are in this position, you need to be realistic. Hire someone to help you.
You may be lucky to have a family member who can look after the kids on a regular basis, but for many they will need to pay someone to babysit. If you are becoming really serious about your music you may even consider hiring a cleaner. Anything that you can do to help you focus more on your playing will help you become a better player.
Hire an Assistant
If you are driven to succeed, at some point you will become good enough to attract attention. Which sounds wonderful, but with a day job how are going to deal with this added pressure? Quite simply, you should hire an assistant. They can write your emails and generally help you get your work done.