Thanks for signing up for the Fall Practice Challenge 2021!
From October 11-24, you and fiddle students around the world will make music a regular part of your life. How? Set an intention to play every day for 14 days in a row.
The primary goal is to establish the habit of daily practice, and have the time of your life doing it. If music is a daily part of your life, then you are a musician. If you want to do this, you can. Simply do it every day.
What happens during the Fall Practice Challenge?
Here are some things I’ve organized to help you get the most out of this experience:
- You’ll receive emails from me, coaching and cheering you on.
- You’ll be able to track your practice using the FPC 2021 Worksheet.
- You’ll have the opportunity to attend special group lessons and online practice periods.
- You’ll be able to connect with other friendly people learning fiddle around the world.
What Is A Practicipant?
A practicipant is someone who practices with others. By doing this together, we are more likely to follow through with our fiddling goals. We help each other to establish a good practice habit and become better musicians.
All you have to do is play every day. It’s good to have you on board
FPC 2021 Worksheet
I made this worksheet to help you organize your practice. Feel free to print and fill it out. Or use it to create your own.
Five action steps
Here are five suggested action steps. If you don’t do any of these things, but still play every day for two weeks, then you complete the challenge.These steps set you up for success.
1. Decide on how much time you’ll practice each day.
- Pick a minimum amount of time that you know you can do.
- I suggest at least 20 minutes a day.
- Write this on the FPC worksheet, a wall calendar or music journal (online or paper).
- If you know in advance that you have to miss practice on a specific day, write that in your calendar or practice tracker before the challenge begins.
2. What is your main practice focus?
- Pick 1-3 things you want to improve: a tune, bowing, playing in tune, improvising, fingering & string crossing, reviewing tunes, etc.
- Whatever you pick, work on something small that you can actually accomplish. For example:
- Playing a simple tune 10% better
- Slurring on scales
- Remembering tunes
3. Tell at least one other person what you are doing.
- Start by saying hello to other practicipants in a comment below!
- Telling friends, family and roommates is a public commitment that will encourage your practice. You also signal to everyone that music is important to you and to respect the time you take for it.
4. Track your practice.
- Print the FPC worksheet and use the practice tracker. You can also use a habit tracker phone app like Done, HabitNow or Habit Tracker.
- Each day that you practice becomes another link in the chain. As the chain grows, you’ll get the emotional reward as you get closer to the goal.
- Instead, you can also use a habit-tracking app (like Momentum) or a wall calendar to mark each day you practice. I like this old-school method!
5. Monitor your performance through recording.
- Make an audio recording or video of yourself playing the challenging new tune or technique at the at the beginning (October 11) and end (October 24) of the FPC.
- You’ll then review these performances to help you understand what improved and what still needs work.
- I highly recommend sharing your videos on the Student Video Exchange. Mainly because you’ll feel a fun sense of camraderie with other FiddleHeds. If you haven’t done that, check out this tutorial: How can I upload a video to the site?
- Another reason to share videos: you’ll be more motivated to practice, knowing that you will be posting a video.
What if I miss a day or two of practice?
If you miss a day or two, just keep going with the challenge. Remember the point of doing the FPC is to establish a good regular practice habit that’s fun and productive. It’s not about completing the worksheet. That’s just an aid. So if you get off track, just pick up the fiddle and play again today. Don’t give up.
FPC 2021 Live Events
Here are some upcoming Zoom events for the FPC. These are all optional. Take part in as many or as few events as you like. The main goal remains to play very day and learn to practice better.
- Mon Oct 11 at 6PM PT: Open practice session
- Tues Oct 12 at 6PM PT: Fiddling With Index Cards
- Wed Oct 13 at 12PM PT: Open practice session
- Thurs Oct 14 at 12PM PT: Practice Journey with Drunken Sailor
- Mon Oct 18 at 6PM PT: Open practice session
- Tues Oct 19 at 6PM PT: Fiddle Workshop – Getting A Good Sound
- Wed Oct 20 at 12PM PT: Open practice session
- Fri Oct 22 at 12PM PT: Call-and-response with a Mystery Tune
- Sunday Oct 24 at 12PM PT: FiddleHed Monthly Hootenanny 🤠
See full details on the Group Lesson Central page.
Student videos from FPC 2020
Last year was a big year for student video submissions. Some folks posted videos almost every day. I hope you will too. The more people who take part, the more fun this becomes. Here’s a playlist of Fiddleheds fiddling every day:
Testimonials from previous challenges
I surveyed the 2019 practicipants after it was over. Over 93% of the people said they would do it again.
Here are some anonymously submitted comments from the survey:
- “It was perfect for me because I finally nailed down HOW to practice. Each day was another very practical way of learning.”
- “It got me to practice every day for 20 minutes-a realistic goal.”
- “I established a connection with two other beginning fiddlers my age for continued exchange and support.”
- “I enjoyed the daily tips, but most surprisingly the participants page and the comments and shared struggles. The videos people posted helped tremendously.”
- “How much I improved with daily, focused practice….. you were right :)”
Do you know someone else who might benefit from the FPC?
The FPC is open to anyone. So if you have a friend who is also learning an instrument, feel free to invite them to join in. It would help them and also help you.
If you want to learn more about practice read the following articles:
Let’s do it
I’m asking you to take yourself seriously as a musician. What does that mean? You are a musician if you play every day. I encourage you to approach the practice challenge with a sense of adventure and fun. What a great thing it is to play music, and you’re going to do it every day!
Thanks for taking part, now go fiddle with it…