How to keep a practice log and journal

If you want to make progress quickly when practicing your instrument or learning to play new pieces, a practice log and journal is crucial.

Studies have shown that any activity that you track will result in a higher favorable return on your time invested. This is because you are creating a system of self accountability which propels you forward in your growth.

The same is true of practicing music. This can be very easily accomplished with a practice log. A practice log is a sheet of paper that contains a place to track your practice sessions including the time, date and a tally of how many times or how much time you have spent practicing this month, or week.

I find this technique great for when I am focusing on playing a very difficult piece or when I set out to compose a large work of music. Click here to download a copy of my practice log template.

To use the practice log, print a copy of it out and fill in the name of the month at the top. When you get ready to practice fill in the initial of the day of the week beside the calendar date.Write down the current time and your one main goal for that day’s practice session. Finally after you finish the practice session write down any comments about that days practice.

Keep your practice log where you will see it everyday, even if you don’t practice. You can put it on your refrigerator, on your music case or the wall above the piano. You might keep it hung on the wall near the bathroom, because you will see it multiple times everyday. The key it to put it somewhere you can not avoid seeing it.

This particular practice log also contains a small space to track your comments about each practice session. You may benefit more from keeping a separate practice journal. In your practice journal you should write about how your practice session went and what you would like to work on specifically the next time you practice. Aim for listing three specific goals in your journal for the next practice session.

I hope you find this to be helpful and gives you some motivation for practicing. Let me know in the comments what you think about practice logs and journals and if you have had any success with this method.

Until next time, keep up the good practice,

Leon Harrell

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