Daily Practice

‘Tis the season when 2 hours a week together just isn’t close to enough.

The Rockford Aces rehearse for an hour on their own, too, which is a huge help. But not enough. The music is more challenging, and the expectations are much higher.

Enter personal practice.

As of last week, the Aces are expected to practice just five minutes per day, six days a week.

It’s just long enough to fix one or two problem spots and drill them.

It’s short enough that everyone can find the time.

It comes with the requirement for a practice log, which is the magical tool to hold themselves accountable and help them to see where their time is spent. Here’s how I described practice logs to them:

Practice logs are easy. Here’s what a log entry looks like.
3/3 7:02pm
Joshua – mm.33-41, rhythm
Joshua – mm.57-end, dynamic consistency
Prayer of the Children – recited words for memory with feeling.
Prayer – practice notes starting at “Crying Jesus”
7:08pm ended
It should take you <60seconds to write out a log at the end of your practice time.
Your goal this week is six days of 5 minutes/day practicing. Make it deliberate practice – working on things you aren’t yet proficient at.
Please put the logs on the piano at the start of rehearsal.



Building a habit of daily personal deliberate practice is something your students will be able to use regardless of future career. It’s the way to get good at anything.

A sampling of Aces practice logs

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