As we slowly emerge from the fog that was the last 12 months, we’re starting to find our schedules busier again and more time spent on the go. As the parent of a nine-year-old singing student, my daughter Maci and I have gotten creative to keep up with her voice practice. Do keep in mind, I am not a music teacher and these tips are not the recommended practice schedule. But if it’s the difference between practicing or not practicing, we sneak in a few minutes anywhere we can.
Be Prepared With Apps and Bookmarks
Once I got it together to organize my phone and her iPad, we were set for success. Using apps like Spotify to play tracks, the Amazing Slow Downer for adjusting those tracks, and ProMetronome to keep the beat, we can work on her repertoire, diction songs and even sight singing assignments from anywhere. I keep all the apps saved in one folder for easy access along with the Google Drive app, where Sandy sends any additional materials we need. Other useful tools are select bookmarks kept in our mobile Safari browser. We have a bookmark to the Vocal Workouts page found on the Crescendo Music System website as well as a bookmark to Virtual Piano when Maci needs to play the centering tune.
Take Advantage of Travel Time
In the peak of our busiest extra-curricular season, I can spend up to 10 hours shuttling amongst activities. Plus that means lots of waiting time in between. On the occasion that Maci is accompanying me, we have an opportunity to get some practice in. Especially valuable travel time is the eight-minute drive to travel from home to The Loft for her weekly lesson. That’s just enough time for a couple of daily workouts and a quick review of the most recent music theory or rudiments topic. We mostly access these apps by syncing my phone through the car as we drive, but playing straight off our devices works as well.
Use Nature as Your Amphitheater
Lately, with the change in weather, we’ve been enjoying walks through the neighborhood, providing another opportunity to get some practice in. Sometimes on these walks we don’t even bother with the track, just singing a cappella to the great outdoors. The relaxed environment lets Maci sing freely, without constraints. The result is a playful and expressive chance to stretch her voice.
Establishing a consistent practice schedule is crucial for any musician. But finding additional opportunities for practice in a busy schedule may offer a boost to your weekly practice technique.