Musicians have earned reputations as being somewhat disheveled & unable to keep themselves organized. The thing is that this isn’t actually true at all. Take a look at the instructors at Park Cities School of Music, for example. They are world-class musicians, but they are also able to maintain incredibly busy schedules as performers, clinicians, and educators. Moreover, some of them also raise families & have done it all while acquiring advanced degrees.
Being an organized musician is very possible — you just have to work at it.
This tends to be hardest for young students who aren’t really used to being on top of things on a regular basis. So, the first step to establishing a life of organized musicianship is to create a space that is perfect for practice. It will be a little different for everyone, but you want to be able to do the following:
- have access to your music & other lesson materials
- keep tuning forks, clip-on tuners, guitar picks, reeds, and bow rosin handy
- manage a folder/three-ring binder for your lesson materials & music that can travel with you if you have lessons somewhere other than home
- let your instrument case hold things that have something to do with your instrument; no need for snacks, playing cards, or Pogs (they’re still a thing, right?).
Perhaps the two most important tools you should have available are a pencil & metronome. Pencils are a school supply, and with so many folks using mechanical pencils nowadays, you may not even need a sharpener. When it comes to a metronome, you don’t even need to buy anything. There are excellent free apps that are great resources. As savvy as your kids are at using technology, this tech knowledge will come in handy to navigate a priceless tool for their music education.
Finally, beyond the space itself, the biggest key in making organization work on a consistent level is making it a routine. If everyone in the family, especially the student, knows how the practice space & materials are to be put together day in & day out, then it becomes a habit. It’s like being in a self-contained classroom in elementary school. In order for one subject & it’s materials to come to a close & morph into the next part of the day, there has to be a routine followed to make the transition easier.
As always, if you’re not sure where to start with the organization of you or your child’s music space, ask the teachers at Park Cities School of Music for some advice. They’ll gladly guide you in the right direction and may just change the way you end up looking at your music practice sessions.