The holidays, a sprawling wasteland and musical void, or a chance to consolidate and prepare to hit the ground running next term.
Holidays are always a tricky time for students new and old. Daily routines go out the window, there is lots happening and well, it is, and should be, a holiday.
Here are five things to help…
1. Manage expectations
Decide with your teacher before the holiday what is needed over the break and be realistic about what will be possible. Harps, pianos and double basses do not necessarily make the best of travel companions if you are going to be abroad. And if you are away, whether it be listening to new music or memorising new pieces coming up, there is a lot you can do without your instrument.
2. Consolidate what you have already covered
A gap in lessons is not the best time to strike out into new territory so why not consolidate areas covered in the last term. It can be really fun to go back over pieces and remind yourself how much you have learnt as well making sure you actually know them.
3. Perform to someone
Holidays are often a time to catch up with family and a great way to consolidate what you have learnt is to perform. Not to mention the enormous boost in confidence it will give you when you do it will also make your grandparents very happy.
4. Think about your practice environment
This is really a wider point on making your practice environment as conducive to learning as possible but is also really important in the holidays especially if you are not at home.
Make sure you have everything you need – books, notes, stand, instrument (!) and also a place to play where you will not be disturbed too much by interested relatives, siblings and local wildlife.
5. Enjoy the music!
Practising should not be a chore – little and often is the secret. So do the maths. A mere 10 mins every day with one day off a week over a two month summer holiday will put you at least eight hours ahead!
When you resume lessons you will pick up from where you left off and be onto exciting new things straight away. This will make both you and your teacher very happy.