Tips For Returning to Music After Some Time Off

Sep 9, 2020

As Ontario moves down the path to recovery, there are tons of students – of all ages – who were forced to put their lessons on hold and are now ready to get back to them. If this sounds like you, you might be starting to feel that itch, that urge to get back into playing music, and you aren’t alone.

This week let’s explore some tips, and food for thought about how you can prepare yourself (or your little ones) for a successful musical restart!

Find the Right Music Teacher

Now might just be a great opportunity to find the best teacher for you! There are all kinds of reputable online resources out there to help you find the perfect teacher to help you reach your musical goals.

Be sure to contact prospective teachers so you can ask all the questions you feel are necessary – the best teachers encourage you to get to know them before signing on! As a matter of fact, the best teachers want to hear about all your concerns, goals, and ambitions as a musician – how else can they prepare and plan your lessons and help you make the most of your time together?

Many teachers will most likely want to hear all about your musical history and the experience you have with your instrument. The more detail you can give your potential teacher about your experience, the better they can craft your lessons.

You’ll want to find a teacher who is willing to help you set new goals moving forward. Your teacher should be able to help you prepare for most scenarios and help you through that process.

Update Your Musical Gear & Accessories

Whether you’ve been away from music for years, or just a few months, it’s not a bad idea to have your instrument and gear checked out by a pro. Think about taking your instrument into you local music store to have it inspected and perhaps have it serviced if it needs it.

Most wooden instruments, including guitars, basses, violins, and the like require regular maintenance. Horns and woodwinds occasionally need oil or new pads – but you should leave that up to the music store specialists if you’re unsure.

At the very least, you’ll probably want to make sure you have both a tuner and a sturdy carrying case for your instrument. Playing in-tune is a critical part of learning your instrument, and that always starts with tuning up properly before each practice. The case will also help you keep your instrument safe and secure, so you can continue playing it for longer.

Lesson Content & Planning

The right teacher, along with a well-maintained instrument, will be able to help you plan out a path for your upcoming lessons. But while you wait for those lessons to begin, you might want to try some brainstorming about what’s keeping you interested in continuing your musical journey.

No matter your age, everyone needs to take part in activities that interest them and doesn’t always feel like work. If you admire certain performers or bands, tell your teacher about them! Even if their music is more complex than what you’re ready for, a good instructor will be able to break it down into important musical elements that are easier to handle and practice.

Get Ready!

Whatever your goals may be, it’s important to start off with a positive attitude, as well as an understanding that you will need to make time to reach your goals. When it comes to practice, it’s a good idea to start before your lessons begin. That means trying to create blocks of about 15 to 30 minutes throughout the week to dedicate to both playing music and practicing your instrument.

This is an important distinction here – you should both practice and play. Those are two separate and distinct efforts. Practice time should be dedicated exclusively to material that is new, under-developed, and needs a certain “I’m working on this” sort of energy. Playing time, on the other hand, should be used for fun! Play things you’re confident with or have completely mastered.

By creating specific time for both practicing and playing throughout the week, your practice time will be much more focused and even more productive, and your playing time will be more rewarding and fun! Plan out a schedule in advance to help yourself stick to it.

Extra Practice Without Your Instrument

With life beginning to return to something resembling normal here in Ontario, people are going back to work and kids are going back to school. That means there may not be a lot of time to practice or you may not have your instrument handy all the time. Depending on just how familiar you are with your instrument, this may not be as much of an obstacle as it may seem! You may be able to do some “mental” practice without your instrument in hand, anywhere you are!

With this method, you can imagine the sounds you would be making, as well as the feel of your instrument, doing your best to pretend you’re actually performing. Try to start out imagining both ascending and descending scales. Of course, there’s no substitute for the real thing, but you might be surprised what you get out of it if you only try. If it works for you, that’s another few minutes of practice time you can do anywhere, anytime!

Are you looking for a new instructor to help you return to your musical path? Look no further than the professional instructors at The Music Studio! We have classes, lessons, and programs for all ages and skill levels! Return to your musical journey now. And make sure to check out our COVID-19 health information and the precautions we’re taking to keep all our studens healthy and safe!