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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Practice Journal in the General forums; After a few post and my morning cup of coffee I am ready to ask the question that I have ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User Principaltrumpet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    north texas

    Practice Journal

    After a few post and my morning cup of coffee I am ready to ask the question that I have been afraid to ask for awhile....not sure why.

    How is a practice log helpful? I understand that it allows you to track what you have worked on, but in what way does it help you become a better musician? I was told to keep one about a year ago and never started it. Two nights ago I said to heck with it and started an online "practice blog". I did this so that I had something to hold me accountable for practicing. Not to help me advance.

    It seems to me that the only thing that would help in a journal or log sense would be a very high quality recorder at every practice sesion allowing you to hear our advances and being able to listen for what you need to work on.

    My final issue with the journal is knowing what to write. Would one just write "Clake #2 at 144 for 10 min" "major scales 16th notes at 160 for 5 min"? or would you go into mor detail and explain your playing issues of the day and what you did well on also?

    Though I am not sure what, I hope to gain something out of what I have started. Does anyone keep a practice journal? If so has it helped you in any way (not just to make you a better player).

    Thanks in advance,
    Yamaha "Chicago" C
    Yamaha "New York" Bb
    Blessing Eb/D
    Yamaha 6810S Picc
    Bach 2C

    Joshua C. Ritchie

  2. #2
    Mezzo Piano User Derek Reaban's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Tempe, Arizona

    Re: Practice Journal


    Here’s a good post from several years ago that you might find helpful: Keeping a Practice diary. There’s a link in my response to the original poster that may be helpful to you.
    Derek Reaban
    Tempe, Arizona

  3. #3
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Northern New York

    Re: Practice Journal

    I kept one a whle back. It does help, if properly used. But, it can also be a pain, too. (I hate paperwork, so it fell by the wayside).

    You can keep track of all sorts of stuff, along with the aid of recording yourself. As far as what and how much you write, it's all up to you, depending on how much you feel you need.

    I used to mark everything down, including date and time. Then, I'd go back and evaluate myself at the end of each session, noting rough spots. I'd highlight these with yellow highlighter at the end of a week or so. I then began also marking before hand goals/objectives for each session. That, to me, is where it really helped. Once that habit becomes second nature, your practice becomes much more focused and productive. You become a better musician because you are working in a more focused manner.

    Now, I sit down and say to myself: "What do I want to accomplish? What do I need to work on?" I don't write it down anymore. Maybe I should for a while just to see how focused I'm being...but then again, that's more paperwork isn't it?
    "Roses have thorns; shining waters mud. Clouds and eclipses stain the moon and the sun; and history reeks of the wrongs we have done. After today, after today, consider me gone."- Sting

  4. #4
    Mezzo Piano User Derek Reaban's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Tempe, Arizona

    Re: Practice Journal

    Here is what I was looking for! The reason that I started keeping a journal was based on a post that I read about Byron Stripling presentation at the ITG Conference in 2000. Here is the post by Joshua Wolf on Ole’s web page. Here is an excerpt:

    He then spoke of STRATEGIC THINKING. He asked us all to write down what we believed to be our number one limiting skill. Then to write down what we could do to progress and help to improve that skill. He then asked us to write down what we see ourselves doing in the next 10 years. At this point he mentioned keeping a JOURNAL, writing this down in a journal, and COMMITTING yourself to accomplishing your plan, to fix the problem and achieve your goal. "Excellence, take yourself to the next level". He also said to keep a journal of everything in your life, from academics, to trumpet playing, to social life. Also to write down say for trumpet playing that yes you practiced Clarke, but WHY? And to write for example that you did it to improve musicality or range, etc.
    I would encourage you to read the articles on Byron Stripling’s web page (just click on Byron’s tips) prior to starting the process of Journaling. You need some initial motivation to really get the benefits of keeping a journal (it can get to be a mundane chore if you don’t know WHY you’re doing it). Byron is such a motivational speaker; he can inspire you to reach your goals!

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Derek Reaban; 01-09-2007 at 12:16 PM.
    Derek Reaban
    Tempe, Arizona

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