Finding Time to Study Music


in Methods

I got an interesting tip the other day on how a student was having a difficult time trying to study.  

Here’s what was happening. This student had a preconceived notion that they need to take an hour to study the music theory content. That thought alone was holding her back from actually accomplishing anything because she felt she just didn’t have the time to put in.

She contacted me and indicated how discourage she was about not putting in the time. So I suggested that could you find just 15 minutes during the day to study say just 1 point in the course which is usually just a few paragraphs over a couple of pages in the course materials.

What time of day can you find to take 15 minutes?

Now, I know many people are not morning people like me. I’m up at 5 a.m. every morning and find the first two hours of the day to be my most productive. My daughter on the other hand is as about as groggy as they come in the morning so that doesn’t work for her.

Studying Music in the Morning Time

If you’re a morning person this 15 minutes can easily be done with your morning coffee or just before or after breakfast. However, if you always feel rushed this will not be a good time for you.

Music Break for the Work Day

The work day is one of those places that some find time to do study. This usually doesn’t work for me as the intensity of the day will not allow me to get my mind to shift gears. However, if you get a 15 minute break some find that studying music is actually a great way to reinvigorate their mental abilities. If you have the ability to pull 10 to 15 minutes for some music study see if you can work it in.

Lunch Break Music Theory

Many people find the lunch time is an excellent time to surf the internet, or do some quick errands. This is also a good time to take half or a quarter of your lunch time and study some music theory. This is a great way to get give your mind a rest from the daily grind and provide you with an easy way to get in some pure music workshop study.

Evening Music Study Options

Let’s face it the evenings are a multitude of conflicting attention getters. Homework, spouse engagement, entertainment, dinner, and things that need to be done about the house all grapple for your time.  

I’m not kidding myself, it takes effort to study your music. So what can you do?

Well, there are really several options. Taking the first 15 minutes when you get home is an option, but I’m guessing unless your single and don’t have any other people around this isn’t likely to work for you. My Beagle almost demands 10 minutes of my time the second I walk in the door.

So that leaves me with some time just before dinner or just after. Maybe I’ve got a favorite show I want to watch and can find a few minutes before it starts.

Or last taking that 15 minutes before going to sleep to say I’ve studied just one thing and understand it so I have satisfaction of going to sleep with having accomplished something today.

Where Our Student Ended Up

Let’s return to the student and her dilemma. Taking one hour was just too much to commit to for the evening. But as we discussed this situation we explored where she might find that quarter of an hour to get some quiet time and study just a few music concepts.

First we had to address the need to not worry about how much progress was made. Accepting that learning just one thing in a few minutes and doing it over and over every day would bring the progress she was looking for.

She ended up trying to schedule her time that either before dinner or before going to bed. That actually started working for here, but also she took an extra 5 minutes to read ahead to see what was coming. She indicated that in just reading quickly ahead she was setting the stage or seeds for anticipating what she would be learning next and giving herself an incentive to make time for the next session.

What else might happen

There is an interesting thing that happens when you decide to take just that short study of music period. You’ll end up taking much more time as you’ve already decided you’re just going to get this one thing and move on. However, you find that you get engrossed in the moment and before you know it a whole half hour has passed.

I used to sit down and want to play for about 30 minutes and found that I was putting in 2 to 3 hours and wondering where the time went.

Bottom Line

Here’s all I think you need to do. Find 15 minutes of time where you will devote it to yourself and your music study. Take that time and just learn one thing.

Mark your spot so you can quickly return to the point where you left off. Use a note pad or what every to tell yourself what you’re going to be doing next.

Then commit to doing it for the next week. Adjust as needed and keep going.

If you’ve got some things that work for you go ahead and share them with us.

Now get to it!

Featured Music Resources

Learn Guitar Online with Videos: JamPlay Guitar

Previous post:

Next post: