Helpful Practice Tips

Helpful Practice Tips - Off the Wall School of Music

Make Practice a Part of Your Day

Start with just 5 minutes each day and you'll see progress in no time

We want to help you realize your dream of playing an instrument! Here are a few suggestions we have on things you can do at home to work towards your goal.

Practice at the Same Time Every Day

Pick a time each day and set it aside for daily practice. Put it on your schedule and set a reminder! Some students like to schedule this after a daily event like dinner — that way, each time they’re finished with dinner, they’re reminded that it’s time to practice.

Download this weekly practice chart to keep you on schedule! 

Start with 5 Minutes a Day

Real improvement on your instrument comes with consistent, focused practice, not just a quick run-through or an hour the day before your lesson. That’s why we recommend that you start small and then begin expanding your daily practice time by 5 minute increments, until you’ve reached 15 or 20 minutes of daily practice.


Reward yourself for a job well done by setting specific incentives for things like practicing each day, practicing every day in a week or learning how to play a new song without mistakes.

It could be fun things like your favorite candy, an ice cream cone or a visit to the park, or something oriented toward your practice like purchasing a new book of music. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that excites you, so you’ll be motivated to keep practicing.

Off the Wall has incentives, too! Track your daily practices on this weekly practice chart, then bring it in. We'll give you a prize for a fully completed chart, plus you'll go up on our practicing Wall of Fame!

Take it One Step at a Time

Big things don’t get done in one day, and learning to play an instrument is definitely a big thing!

Setting a goal to practice each day is the first step, and setting that daily practice goal for something that you can reach is really important.

Starting with a smaller goal could also mean just sitting on the piano bench once every day. This is a great way to get yourself to play more -- when you sit down on a piano bench, it's really hard not to touch those keys and start making music!

Imagine training for a marathon. If you’ve never run in a marathon before and you want to, you can’t just go out every day and run 20 miles. You’ll need to increase your stamina and endurance by starting with a shorter distance, and then adding to that distance slowly over time.

Learning how to play an instrument is similar: You’ll need to start with shorter practice times each day, and slowly increase that over time.

5 minutes may not seem like much, but doing that every day is what counts.

And Remember: Even the Pros Practice

You can play music for your entire life, and you’re never too old to start learning! Famed cellist Pablo Casals was once asked why, at 81 years old, he continued to practice. He responded with, “Because I think I’m making progress.”