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Summer in Texas is Hot. Make your summer music practice spot!

Texas summer is practice time.

The summer heat provides a great reason to find a shady spot and practice your instrument. Make your safe space practice routine. Set a timer. Learn more scales and licks. Work your way through a new music book. Write a new song and record yourself to keep your chops up.

Alamo Music Center knows music helps people grow and brings good things into our lives. We are here to help with practice ideas, cool learning tools, and simple easy solutions for a musical Texas summer.

Learning to play a musical instrument is a constructive use of your time.

Learning a musical instrument and developing increasing levels of skill through regular practice is a great way to structure our days. Just like a regular workout routine at the gym produces healthy results for the body, regular music practice produces healthy results for the mind.

Investing fifteen to twenty minutes or more each day playing a musical instrument engages the mind differently than the same time spent on a computer game or social media. Where screen time provides content to which we react, practicing a musical instrument fosters our ability to create.

We focus our mind and concentrate on creating a sound when we practice. We learn to find our individual voice for others to hear. Practicing music help us construct meaning and internalize deeper levels of understanding. We will be better prepared for the coming seasons after a summer of practicing music.

Set up your practice space.

You need a dedicated practice space to help build your summer practice routine. Set up a music stand and put a pencil on it. The simple act of defining a music space to hold a new music book or pad of manuscript paper starts you on the path to progress. 

Find a good chair or stool to pair with your music stand and claim your musical space. Set up an instrument stand or maybe a wall hanger, and get your instrument out of the case. The visual appeal of having your instrument ready will help build a regular routine. 

Make sure you have enough light to see your practice space and materials. A well lit learning space helps the learner  stay organized and productive. 

Define your practice time.

Get a calendar and mark your practice days. You need to practice on days that end with a "y". One your days are defined, decide on a good time. Do you want to practice before or after lunch? Practicing early in the day helps make the rest of the day more productive. If later in the day is better, that is okay too. The important thing is to plan a practice schedule, then work the plan. Family, friends and neighbors who hear you practice regularly will also be inclined to be more productive. 

Define your improvement goal.

Think about a specific song, skill, or sound you want to improve. Rather than playing the same stuff you already know, focus on something new. Basic music skills including playing scales always support development. Build on your basic skills by learning new scales and adding patterns to the scales you already know. Spend time training your ear using a tuner to play in tune. Work on rhythm and muscle control using a metronome like a master of martial arts. Decide on a musical goal for the end of each week and make a plan to get there.

Eliminate distractions.

Make a rule to eliminate distractions that will disrupt your practice plan. Silence your phone or better yet, leave your phone somewhere outside of your practice space. Get away from the TV and turn off as much unnecessary noise as possible. Use a short, slow regular warm up routine to focus on starting with a good sound. Set a timer and focus on your music practice for the duration of each practice session.

Use a support system.

Ask others to help you improve your skills. Share your practice plan and goals with a friend or parent or sibling or significant other, and ask them to help you improve. Tell your support team to ask you each day if you practiced. Volunteer to help them improve on any project they have. Encourage yourself and others by sharing a positive attitude, and remember plans can change. The important thing is spending regular time to develop your musical habits.  

The benefits of practicing music extend beyond ourselves.

As we develop our mind practicing music, we also develop empathy and understanding. We create and learn to control sound while playing music, and this helps us learn to listen rather than simply hear.

Our improved ability to listen helps us engage more meaningfully with others. As we apply our musical skills unconsciously in our daily interactions, we model respect for others. Our musical education works on a deeper level which can make a positive impact on those around us.

Practicing music develops self control and respect for order. Both of these characteristics are good for the individual, the family, the community, and our larger society.

Thank you for your business.

Alamo Music is fortunate to be one of the few San Antonio music companies emerging from the COVID19 business shutdown period stronger than before. We are happy to provide improved and expanded online sales, instrument rentals and repairs, and customer pickup and delivery services.

We are stocked and ready to support all your musical needs including our improved instrument rentals and repair service, band and orchestra accessory sales, and music lessons for every instrument. 

We all wonder  what school band will look like and what will marching band look like in the coming school year? Will we have classes all together or be separated into smaller groups? Will some choose to stay at home for distance learning. We wonder how teachers will be affected and what school bands, teams, and activities will look like.

Hopefully answers to these questions will be available soon. In the meantime, remember it is always a good idea to practice your musical instrument(s).

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