Fall Practice Challenge 2022
Thanks for signing up for the Fall Practice Challenge 2022!
From October 10-23, 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. Be a practicipant in the FPC 2022!
If you clicked the link to this page in the newsletter, then you’re already signed up. Wihoo!
If you missed that, or if someone shared this page with you, then you can sign up here.
After you officially sign up, I’ll send emails with tips, encouragement and event reminders. You don’t have to officially sign up; you can just play every day! But it will be more motivating to take part in this as a group.
Three things you need to do to PRACTICIPATE
Three things you need to do to PRACTICIPATE in th FPC
- Set goals
- Tell at least one other person
- Track your practice
I’ll go into more detail below.
Set goals 📈
How much will you practice each day?
Pick a minimum amount of time that you know you can do. I suggest at least 20 minutes a day. But if that seems like a challenge, then try two minutes a day. You can do that!
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. Consider scheduling a make-up day either before (preferable) or after the challenge.
What will you focus on?
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
Tell at least one other person 👨👩👦👦
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. Tell at least one non-FiddleHed person that you’re taking the challenge.
Say hello to other practicipants in a comment below! Share your FPC goals with us.
Track your practice ✍️
Take notes on how long and what you practice each day. Use “Your Practice Journal” at the bottom of the page (in the Practice Toolkit) or whatever method works for you: wall calendar, note-taking app, or spreadsheet. Make an entry for every day you practice.
Each day that you practice becomes another link in the chain. As the chain grows, you’ll get a positive emotional reward as you get closer to the goal.
Record your practice to get feedback on performance and progress. Do this for each practice item when at the at the beginning (October 10, or whenever you start that piece) and at the end (October 23) of the FPC. Share on this FPC 2022 page.
I encourage you to share what you do each day in a comment below. Include video if you like.
Use this to write down goals and track your practice: FPC 2022 Worksheet
Or, just use an index card.
Place this somewhere you’ll see 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 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
What if I miss a day or two of practice?
If you miss a day or two, just keep going with the challenge. If possible, make up the missed days right after the official challenge is done (since the FPC ends on Oct 23, you can make up lost days on Oct 24, 25, etc.).
Remember the point of doing the FPC is to establish a good regular practice habit that’s fun and productive. So if you get off track, just pick up the fiddle and play again today. Don’t give up.
Who can take part in the FPC?
The FPC is open to anyone. You don’t have to be a paid subscriber to the course and you don’t even have to play the fiddle.
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.
Why should I bother with this??
Almost everyone who has taken part in the practice challenge has seen huge improvements in their performance, practice consistency and motivation. Moreover, people seem to have a lot of fun.
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 :)”
Here’s a playlist of Fiddleheds fiddling every day during the FPC 2020:
Deliberate Practice Planner
As part of the FPC, I encourage you to use Deliberate Practice to accelerate your learning. Below is a simple outline of deliberate practice you can use to practice anything. At the bottom of the page I include a printable deliberate practice planner.
Discovery phase 👁
- Plan: Pick a tune or skill that needs work.
- Do: Practice it slowly.
- Reflect: What was hard? Identify 1-4 chunks that need work.
Piece (Tune or skill):
|Chunk description (name, bars)||Notes (BPM, insights)|
Refinement phase 🔬
- Plan: Pick one chunk to work on.
- Do: Practice. Pay close attention
- Reflect: Do you need to dive deeper on this? Or are you ready to move on to the next chunk? Use the notes section.
- Repeat: Plan what you’ll do next (practice the same chunk or move on). Do. Reflect. etc.
Integration phase 🌳
- Plan: What surrounding parts will you add to each chunk?
- Do: Practice transitions between chunks and surrounding parts. When complete, practice the whole tune
- Reflect: Did you improve at least one small thing? What do you need to practice tomorrow?
Retrieval practice 🧠
- At the end of a session, play through all chunks from all pieces, ONCE AND ONLY ONCE.
Learn to practice
Here are some key lessons to help you during the FPC 2022. These are essential lessons from the How To Practice Music course.
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…