PRACTICE ROUTINE
-
CELLO KARMA


"Karma means Action. 
So things change through action not by prayer... not by wish."
-Dalai Lama 

.

I. SET GOALS & GET ORGANIZED

.

.

If you cannot get into a practice routine it is probably because your lifestyle needs to be re-ajusted to your "cellospectations".
Change takes time, don't give up after a week, by routine we mean long term.

Setting goals will help you, but your goals should not feel impossible, small victories/achievements will give you the motivation to keep going! 

Achievable, realistic goals:
1. First goals, first victories...
Go to the basics
for example:
"Wake up earlier" (meaning go to sleep earlier...) this could be your first mission. If you have a tendency to wake up late, try to gain 15min everyday.
"Eat healthier", at least one of the 3 meal per day, then try to increase...
"walk or exercise at least once a week", instead of taking the escalators, why don't you take the steps? Many small changes will make a big difference.

The screens are addictive and take a lot of your time.
Make rules:
"No computer time / serie if I haven't practiced yet"
"I can watch another chapter of this serie if I practice the same length one episode first"
etc.

Make a list of what makes you tired and slowly reduce the time you dedicate to those activities  (computer/games before going to bed etc.)

and of course: fight procrastination...


1- NO MORE "IF" EXCUSES, ACCEPT YOUR PRESENT

If I had a better place where I can practice...
If I had a better instrument...
If people around me were more supportive...
If I had more time...
If I was less stressed by...

2. NO MORE "WHEN": LIVE IN THE PRESENT

When I will be done with this paper...
when I will be done with school...
when I get myself organized...

.

WEEKLY AND DAILY LISTS

.

Every week: make a to do list with a color dot indicating the priority


-things to practice

-paperwork/school papers
-general things (travel plans, running errands etc...)

-emails you should answer / write

-household tasks


Every night: make a list of what you have to get done the next day.

Instead of playing with your phone, take a paper, think of your day, list what you have to do, keep some free time...



II. WHY DO WE LOSE A PRACTICE ROUTINE?


in order to keep a practice routine, it is interesting to understand why we lost it...

.

C'EST LA VIE... ;)

We often have this dream when there is nothig else to worry than practicing. Unfortunately this dreams rarely becomes reality. 

Problems and challenges in your life, family, school, kids, relationships... 
Practicing cannot always be your priority and it's ok! Accept the situation but don't give up on practicing neither... 

Finding a good balance is not easy.
You are being a good friend, good mom, good dad, good teacher, etc. being generous is important, but do not forget yourself.

Having a practice routine doesn't mean giving up your hobbies, friends, family etc. , it means making enough space in your life for everything, yes you will have to compromise, but once again... it is part of life, your cello is a demanding relationship...


BEING FLEXIBLE
When the day doesn't go the way you had planned, reorganize it depending on your priorities. You don't have to always give up on entertainment to go to your practice room. It is not necessary to give up on what makes you happy besides cello, it will also give you energy and the joy to practice.

ABOUT CELLO TIME:
Important advice: know what you need to practice before you start. 
Never wait until you have a full hour ahead to start practicing.
Take many 15 minutes practices slots in your day, you will learn how to quickly analyze and fix problems.
Stop before you get too tired.


CELLO BURNOUT

.

Cello is/was your passion, your life, your happiness, and one day, you burnt-out...

Your whole life was about cello and practicing, everybody around you knew that they had to respect your dedication, your cello was a very demanding boss... It can be necessary for a certain period of time but you cannot live forever like this.

Too much travel, too much practice, too much... 

You went beyond your limits; it is time to reorganize your life, take time without your cello, don't worry you will get back to it... ! Enjoy life, SLEEP & EAT WELL



Once you don't feel exausted anymore, reconnect with your cello, have a coach to whom you can talk about this, and who will help you in this new chapter of your life with your cello.

It will not be the same, you will slowly get into a new routine with your instrument, a lot healthier and happier. Been there ;)


III. HOW TO KEEP/BUILD A PRACTICE ROUTINE

STICK TO THE BASICS* NO MATTER WHAT!


*Sleep and eat at regular time, a short practice time is better than nothing.

.

ONCE YOU GOT ORGANIZED; PRACTICING WILL BE THE EASY PART.

LIFE IS LIKE RUBATO, YOU FIND FREEDOM INSIDE THE CLOCK / BEAT


TO INCREASE YOUR PRACTICE TIME AND QUALITY

We sometimes say : "I will practice tomorrow, it is too late to get anything done". 
In most case it is procrastination... Practice something, play something!

Even if you have only 15 minutes, take those 15 minutes! Pick one spot you want to work on, you will learn to fix problems quicker. And even if you can't find a solution during those 15min, your brain will keep working on it without you even noticing...

 Consequence

You will practice something everyday, you develop the capacity to find quick fixes, and to run into your practice room everytime you have 15 or 20 minutes. It becomes a routine, many short practice times a day quickly sums up! You will se that you will feel the need to seat longer to assemble the puzzle you have been working on.

Once your life is more organized, write down everyday what you learnt and if you can use some of that in your playing. Learn about yourself, learn from others. 

Then, write down what you could have practiced and you didn't, add it in your "to do list".

Do not think on "2hours" or "4hours" but practice what you need, it will vary. As long as you are trying to improve your playing everyday you are in the right direction.


Remember, practicing does not only mean playing cello.

BODY AND MIND

THE HANDS

SHOULDER-BLADES



Feel free to contact me if you have comments, questions, or/and if you want to work on this together, online or in Berlin.