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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Sipher

How To Create a Consistent Piano Practice Habit as an Adult

Try these four tips to create a consistent piano practice habit as an adult.


As a busy adult, you might be wondering… How can I establish a consistent piano practice habit as an adult when life already feels full?


I get it! I’ve been there! To be honest, I allowed all my excuses and perceived time restraints to prevent me from accessing the piano for years. And I’m a trained musician- with a degree in music!


The past few years of my life have been challenging as I navigated a divorce, the remaking of myself, helping my children heal, and the building of my piano studio business. In that time, I’ve also returned to consistent piano practice, especially this past year.


How have I done it, as a business owner, single mom of six, and a person with more dreams than I have time to chase?


That’s what I’m sharing in this month’s blog post written to support YOU.


It is my belief that we can all make time for the things that we deem important.


It just might take a bit of creativity and discipline to make that happen!.


It all comes down to habit formation- something challenging at times for us as adults with deeply ingrained patterns. For this reason, during piano lessons, I spend a lot of energy exploring the idea of habit formation with each of my students in the following areas:

  1. Developing a consistent practice routine.

  2. Establishing effective at-home practice techniques.

  3. Encouraging proper piano technique.

As always, it’s about so much more than just excelling at the piano. These are skills that we can apply to all areas of our lives.


Shall we dive in?


Black and white image of an adult male playing the piano

Try these tips to create a consistent piano practice habit as an adult:


1. Habit-Stacking.


Habit stacking is a wonderful tool in habit formation. The idea is to pair the new desired activity with an already present daily activity. It plays on the idea of the Law of Inertia, that once someone is up and moving and getting things done, you can easily tack another task to that momentum.


Try pairing practicing piano with another part of your self-care routine. Look for ways you can tie some piano practicing into part of your morning, afternoon, after work, or pre-bed routine. If you work from home, perhaps you could practice for a few minutes during your lunch break.


The post-dinner routine is another great time to slip in some piano practice. After the post-dinner chores have been completed, I often find a few free minutes to sit at the piano to practice.


Bonus Tip: Practicing in the early evening can be a soothing way to end the day.


Image of a bullet journal and pens.

2. Incentivizing.


Incentivizing as an adult? Yes! Even adults can benefit from a little self-created incentive plan!

Reward yourself for practicing with a walk around the block, time devoted to reading a book, checking your email, sending that text, or checking in on social media. Tailor your incentive to your specific needs and preferences!


Bonus Tip: The Practice Space App used in my studio incentivizes students by tracking their practicing times and practice streaks.


Many adults have found this super motivating… I know it has for me! I’m constantly wanting to extend my practice streak!


(PS. If competition motivates you, there’s even a leaderboard you can try to climb!)


Image of Sticky notes on a wooden desk with a left hand holding one sticky note closer to the camera

3. Scheduling it.


Similar to habit stacking, scheduling practice works for those who have even less flexibility in their schedules. Allocating a dedicated time to practice every day ensures the piano practicing gets done at a specific time instead of “sometime today.”


Set a timer on your phone or your Alexa, reminding you of your appointment with the piano. (Mine is set for 11:00 AM.)


Bonus Tip: Learning to practice at a scheduled time lays the foundation for good time-management skills.


Image of a black clock

4. Accountability.


Finding some way to stay accountable to your goals is pivotal to reaching them. If internal accountability doesn’t do it for you, look externally. Sign up for consistent piano lessons, make use of a habit-tracking app, ask a friend to check in on your progress, or connect with other adult piano students.


Bonus Tip: Find a cohort of peers on the same musical journey. This could be through an online messaging group, with friends pursuing the same or other hobbies, or through my group piano class offerings (coming soon!)


If this still feels daunting, remember the benefits of learning how to practice the piano consistently. Keeping in mind the big-picture goals will motivate you to continue to find creative ways to develop a consistent piano practice routine.

Image of "hands in" a circle

The benefits of having a Consistent Piano Practice Routine are numerous, including:


1. Dedicated time away from the rest of life. Consider it an escape - a daily personal retreat - from life’s challenges.

2. Exercise a different part of your brain by learning new things that are outside your normal daily education.

3. Build self-trust by keeping small commitments to yourself which enables you to take on bigger challenges in the future.

4. Exponential growth. Truly, a little bit goes a long way.


Fun Fact: 10 minutes of practice a day is 70 minutes a week, 6 hours a month, and 60 hours a year! That adds up! Sure, you won't practice EVERY day, but some days you'll practice more than 10 minutes!


What can you accomplish in 60 hours of dedicated effort?


As you can see, the benefits of creating a consistent piano practice are far-reaching, impacting many areas of life - now and in the future!


 

Food for Thought:


Think about the other habits you’ve developed in your life. In the past, what has helped you establish new habits? Habit-stacking, incentivizing, scheduling it, or group accountability?

Remember, it isn’t enough to simply want to commit to new habits, we must intentionally create them. That takes effort!


It might be helpful to think about your reasons for wanting to study the piano again. Reminding yourself of your why can give you the discipline to create a consistent piano practice habit as an adult. I know it has for me!


For other tips, check out this blog post The Habit of Practicing: A Little Goes A Long Way.


After reading this blog post, if you have any specific questions or concerns, let’s discuss them at your next lesson! I’d be happy to brainstorm with you about finding solutions that work for you and your life!


 

If you would benefit from having a guide in your musical journey and practicing habit formation, I would be honored to help in the journey.


It is my true delight to bring the joy of music into hearts and homes through personalized remote piano lessons that will help students form habits and a hobby that will last them a lifetime!


The process is simple:

1. Schedule a call to talk about your goals.

2. Select a lesson time.

3. Take your first lesson!

Contact me here!


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