• Neil Chan

Practicing During a Pandemic - For Musicians Amid Covid-19 Crisis

Pandemic = staying at home all day = loads of time to practice...right? That's what I thought, but turns out that months of social isolation is quite a challenging environment to stay motivated in.⁣⁠ ⁣⁠ So I thought I'd share some simple steps for musicians (or anything else really) that I've been taking to stay motivated, productive, and also sane! But remember... it's a PANDEMIC. It's OKAY to feel unmotivated and take a long deserved break.⁣⁠

1: Alternating the material I practice each day helps tremendously in avoiding monotony. I choose two things to work on each day - flamenco + jazz harmonies, or improvisation + arrangement. Come up with your own list to alternate!⁣⁠ ⁣⁠

2: This is really really challenging, and I struggle with this too... but when I succeed it's really effective! Practice as far away from your devices as possible, for short sessions of 45 minutes. Concentrated practice is much more effective.⁣⁠ ⁣⁠

3: Be sure to reward yourself, and reward yourself well. After each 45 minute session take 15 minutes off to absolutely relax. Watch a YouTube video, read a book, have a snack, whatever works for you :)⁣⁠ ⁣⁠

4: This last one has been amazingly effective for me. Aim to practice material that you can immediately record at the end of the day, and share it on social media. Having tangible and immediate goals drives you to keep going, and what better time than now to connect with fellow musicians online!⁣⁠ ⁣⁠

These are some of my personal practice tips that have worked for me. Remember, these are ideas to help us keep motivated when we want to, but we must also exercise self-care. We deserve the time and space amid this global situation to simply rest, think, and recharge.

~Neil Chan

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