Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Have a Plan and Ask Questions

I know from experience that approaching each practice session or lesson with a plan is always more productive than just showing up.

Don't get me wrong...it is important to show up, and some days that's all we can do.

But all the other days, try to show up with a plan.

Before you begin, ask yourself....
  • "What do I hope to accomplish today?"
  • "What do I really need to concentrate/focus on during then next 20 minutes?"
  • "What is my priority during this practice time (or lesson)?"

Do you see how asking yourself a couple simple questions will give you something to work towards? If you don't ask yourself what you hope to accomplish, then you are likely to just get through the lesson or practice session. How productive or effective is this?

Maybe your goal is to enjoy the lesson or practice session. I think this is a wonderful goal and one we often don't think about. How many times do we set out to "get practice done"? I would much rather enjoy practicing. So when I set this as a goal, I begin to think about ways to make the next 20-40 minutes enjoyable.

Another important thing to remember is to be sure to evaluate yourself when you finish. Ask yourself some more questions like....
  • "What was significant about that practice session (or lesson)?"
  • "What did I accomplish?"
  • "Was I successful in what I set out to do?"
  • "What did I do well?"
  • "What needs improvement?"
These are questions we can all benefit from. If you are the teacher or parent, ask yourself these questions. If you are an older student, ask yourself these questions. If you are the teacher, ask your student these questions. If you are the parent of a younger child, ask your child these questions.

Have you tried this? I would love some feedback on this....

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