If you’re in a repetition rut, we’ve got some tips to help you re-energize your practice sessions and get the most out of your time on the bench.

This article extra is part of the feature article 30 Day Practice Challenge Redux.

Time Management

Download our practice log to help track your progress.

Make an appointment. Dishes, email, laundry, errands—it’s easy to let everything else on your to-do list push practicing to the bottom. If you schedule your practice time in your calendar just as you would a doctor’s appointment or coffee with a friend, it goes from being an “if-I-have-time” task to a must-do appointment.

Schedule practice time when you are at your best. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Ideally, you want to practice when you are mentally and physically at your best each day, and avoid practicing when you can’t focus mentally or are physically worn out. Your best might be right after breakfast and coffee, or in the quiet calm of night. Whenever it is, try to schedule some practice time each day (or night).

Pin your back against a wall. Some people work better with a looming deadline. So if you need to light a fire under your practicing, commit to a public performance. Nothing inspires dedicated practicing like a looming concert date.

A little practice every day is better than cramming. Cramming never worked in school, and it doesn’t work on the harp either. The only way to develop a full and consistent sound is to build the muscle memory you need to repeat the same technique motions fluidly every time you play.

Practice in small sections. Focused, short practice gets better results than long, sloppy practice.

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