Minnesota School Of Music - December 2018

Over the last several months, we’ve featured the 4 R’s of Routine — repeat, reach, reward, and relax — and how each is a vital element in keeping your music student excited about their practice plan. This month, we want to round out the discussion by talking about the last, but certainly not least, element: relax . Just as professional athletes need to give their bodies and minds a rest after working hard at practice, so do young musicians. The most zealous of students might become so absorbed during their practice sessions that they don’t think breaks are necessary. But even if they feel physically strong and mentally focused after practicing for prolonged periods of time, their muscles, tendons, vocal folds, and lips still need time to recharge. In fact, if musicians don’t give their tissue the break it needs, it can become microscopically strained, which can lead to severe injuries over time. While taking frequent pauses from practice is necessary in order to preserve a child’s physical longevity, taking mental breathers is just as important. If students push themselves too hard during practice, they will only end up experiencing burnout. This leads to frustration and might even cause them to view the art of playing music as an obligation rather than a hobby. There are three types of mental breaks they can take to avoid burnout: active, diverting, or restorative breaks. When taking an active break, your student should set down the instrument but still keep their mind focused on the task at hand by visualizing the sound or even tapping out some tricky rhythms. When taking a diverting break, your student should leave the practice room entirely for a quick mental reboot. They could go for a short walk or grab a snack. When taking a restorative break, your student should focus on breathing meditations and long body stretches to revitalize their minds and joints. When breaking down a routine, we understand the impulse to focus solely on practicing, but taking the time to rest and relax is equally as important — especially during the holidays. So when your young musician is home for Christmas break, encourage them to pause, breathe, and restore both their body and mind. THE FOUR R’S OF ROUTINE HOW TAKING BREAKS NOW WILL HELP IN THE FUTURE



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IS YOUR TEACHER If you’ve tried to make a schedule change recently, you’ve seen firsthand how full our teachers’ schedules are. If you are looking to make an upcoming schedule change, please read below to see if your teacher is sold out. Note: Teacher availability is subject to change based on enrollment. Please contact the front desk at (763) 432-9713 for up-to-date schedule information. SOLD OUT?

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