Pick-Me-Up for the Pessimistic Practicer

My husband and I are currently back in school. To be honest, this isn’t something I thought we would do. Recently, though, I’ve caught myself blabbing at length about the benefits of grad studies; this is an opportunity to pursue thorough musicianship! I’ve developed a few major goals for my time at UT:

  • Learn to love practicing
  • Transcribe tons of vocal solos! (this means learning/writing down awesome improvisations)
  • Learn to make the changes (this means singing melodies that correspond accurately & creatively over harmonic progressions)

The first goal mentioned is really crucial. It hurts to hate the process. In the last year, I’ve enjoyed some really great practice sessions with my husband (meaning I didn’t storm off in frustration). I want to figure out why these were so successful so I can continue in that path. Seriously – what’s the point of singing if you end up frustrated and upset?

The goal of any practicing is to instill new or changed behavior via repetition towards habitualizing the activity until it becomes instinctive and can be accomplished without conscious thought… Once an individual forms his own way of achieving results it can be repeated for life. -D. Liebman

I read a great article by Dave Liebman called the Practicing Philosophy. I’ve condensed and reworked it a bit for a quick overview and Pick-Me-Up for the Pessimistic Practicer. *Please note excerpts and paraphrases taken from Liebman’s article are in bold italics.

As I worked on this post, I developed a Practice Journal for myself. I also adjusted it a bit to create an Assignments Page for vocal students to record weekly assignments and goals.
I hope this helps us practice more efficiently. I will be sure to update you on my progress with the Practice Journal.
Please write me if you’d like to share methods or ideas. I’d love to hear them!
Happy Practicing.


  1. Hey Alta!

    This is a great post! I love your practice journal and think its great that you’ve chosen to share it for free. Look forward to reading more awesome posts.


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