How To Use Your Practice Journal
Here’s a tutorial on how to use Your Practice Journal. I’ll start with basic instruction on how to create daily entries. Then I’ll talk about how you can accelerate your learning and have more fun by taking notes on what you practice.
Basic usage ⚙️
- Find Your Practice Journal at the bottom of any lesson page (including this one), or the Home Page
- Click the orange ⊕ icon to create an entry.
- Click “Submit” to save the entry.
- You can edit an entry at any time. To do that:
- Click the entry
- Click the three dots in the lower right-hand corner
- After editing, click “Submit” again
- Click the ✏️ icon to add journal prompts.
Practice Journaling for “Power Users”
Here are strategies to make the most of Your Practice Journal during your sessions.
For each tune you practice, I suggest you keep a list of the hard parts below the title. This is the process of Deliberate Practice.
- A Part, Fourth Quarter: 75 bpm – transposed to G major (starting D3) – skip tomorrow
- B Part, First Quarter: 60 bpm (same as yesterday) – repeat tomorrow
- B Part, Second Quarter: 63bpm – repeat tomorrow
That way you can start with those parts each time (until they’re no longer hard 🏆).
Keep track of:
- Practice strategies used (like transposition)
- Progress (do you need to do this tomorrow or take a day off?)
Learn more here:
“Skills” includes scales, bowing, ear-training, note-reading etc. You can also mention practice strategies you learning, like Interleaving, Desirable Difficulty, etc.. Document practice of skills in the same fine-grained way you would a tune (described above).
🧠 Review (Review & memory practice)
In this space, keep track of things you’re reviewing.
Take tunes and skills you’ve already learned and put them back on the workbench. You’ll be surprised at how you continue to improve anything.
The other reason to review is to strengthen mental retrieval of tunes. Create review sets of 4-6 tunes. For example:
Review set #3
- Arkansas Traveller
- Your Song
- Swallowtail Jig
- Game of Thrones Theme
- Blackest Crow
- I’ll Fly Away
Once you can retrieve each piece, then switch to a different review set. Or build a new one.
📆 What you’ll do next
In this space, take note of things you know you want to practice tomorrow. Or you can even create a practice entry for tomorrow at the end of today’s session and list your “next” items there.
🤓 Make it your own
Each time you create an entry, you’ll be working from a template. This is meant to guide you in your practice. But you can tailor this to how you practice. If you don’t want to use the template, just erase it (or any part of it) and take notes as you like.
- Open Your Practice Journal in a separate browser tab. Use other browser tabs to take lessons on the site or use the practice materials.
- You can add links (to FiddleHed pages, Youtube versions of tunes, online sheet music, etc.) using the link button.
- Use the 🔎 icon (top right hand corner) to search for your previous entries. This is a great way to find out all the times you’ve practiced a tune.
- Let the journaling process to be interesting and fun – don’t see it as a chore. Journaling will actually enable you to be more creative. 🕺🏾
Add links to lessons
You can add links to lessons to your practice journal. FiddleHed Deb asked about this, so I made a quick tutorial.
Questions or comments? Just email me.
12 responses to “How To Use Your Practice Journal”
I’m starting the course projecting to my smart TV. And it’s difficult to use the TV remote to type anything or move through the screen very much. It’s a great way to view the videos and practice in a room that’s set up away from others in the family so they aren’t disturbed. I’ll see if I’m able to make notes and put things in using my phone or laptop at a later time.
Thanks for sharing how it’s working for you, Ronnie. I have used a wireless/bluetooth keyboard before with a TV and has worked good. Yea, any way to put down notes whether on paper or on a device, can be really supportive of our practising. Enjoy!
I’m trying to leave a comment.
oops nevermind -it’s working
Good to hear Nancy, sometimes I notice it can take a little bit to post and I also sometimes accidentally hit the ‘cancel comment’ button above my reply instead of the button below it.
Due to my limited data and slow internet speed, I won’t be able to participate in zoom lessons or do much in the way of downloading and uploading but there are so many cool and useful things here that I’ll be able to benefit from. I wish I subscribed a long time ago, but hey, better late than never.
I found Fiddlehed a couple of years ago on YouTube and learned a couple of tunes from those lessons but the Jerusalem Ridge lesson is the reason I finally subscribed.
Hello I am currently testing FiddleHed because I like your courses a lot and if after the test period I like it I would like to continue paying but I see that already after 6 days some things no longer work No way to open the journal and update it. it is Broken.
The journal is working again, i am happy now thank you.
Great to hear your checking out FiddleHed and enjoying Jason’s lessons 🙂
And awesome that the journal system is working again. Please let us know as you notice anything that could use improving, we really appreciate hearing about it.
Today I Subscribe to FiddleHed. I live in Switzerland.
I made a lot of progress in 7 days that I had never made in 1 year with the violin and I really have a lot of fun.
Yes! Fun is the goal. If you have fun, then you keep going…
Jason: In your video on practice journal, you said you couldn’t get the video link link in your entries to open in a new tab. The solution is to type the words “new window” (but without the quotations marks) into the field marked Target when you are creating the link. Then Submit.
Usually the target field has a couple of drop down choices, which aren’t here, so just type it in.