10 Minutes A Day Practice Challenge – Who’s In?

by MichelleStewart on September 9, 2011

challengeMy Skype fiddle lessons start back up again this week, but I struggle to fit in practice time just like everyone else so I’m setting a challenge for myself and anyone else who wants to participate. It’s called the ’10 MINUTES A DAY PRACTICE CHALLENGE’. Basically, you commit to practicing your instrument 10 minutes a day which would make up a minimum of 70 minutes/week. I have been leaving my fiddle out where I can just pick it up and also blocking practice time into my google calendar.

So far, just since this week (I started on Sept. 5th, 2011), about sixty people have joined me in this challenge and have been posting updates on my BodhranExpert facebook page http://www.facebook.com/BodhranExpert

It’s not too late to join in so who’s with me??? For those of you not on Facebook you can leave your updates below this post. Be sure to check in here or on the facebook page link above on a daily basis and share practice tips and how it’s working for you.

This challenge has been inspiring so many people. Being accountable and doing it as a group just seems to make it way more fun.

Once you get started it’s pretty hard to stop after only 10 minutes, but just commit to atleast 10 minutes every day because we can all spare 10 minutes, right?

Drum on!(or fiddle, pipe, etc. on)

~ Michelle

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Peggy Casey September 9, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Hi Michele,

Love your videos! You are such an inspiration. I don’t do the Facebook thing so I’ll just have to keep up with you here. I have played guitar most of my life but I started my love of playing music in elementary school. I began my lessons learning to play the violin. In the last few years I’ve added mandolin, harp (I have a 36 string fold harp), piano and now I’m going to learn bodhran, thanks to you! As far as practicing, I have to say, that even after all these years I still have days when I feel like I need to force myself to practice.
So I think its a great idea to create a practice circle; a practice support group 🙂 We can help each other stay inspired!
I practiced my harp today and I was working on Conditioning Exercises for Beginner and Advanced Harp; in my case, Beginner. The conditioning exercises use simple 4-note chord patterns to train your fingers to pluck the strings clearly and properly while keeping arms, hands and fingers in correct positioning. I did similar exercises when I was learning classical guitar many years ago and the beauty of it is no matter which instrument you are learning to play, the conditioning exercises (although they can be boring at times) are very helpful. Its like dong sit-ups or some other exercise; you don’t especially like doing them but the end result makes it all worthwhile. Its like doing dreaded sit-ups: hard at first, gets easier with time and the result is stronger abs and posture and in this case beautiful music!
So I’m looking forward to more inspiration. Hoping at some point my violin will start to see more daylight as I haven’t been playing it much lately.

Louise Wells September 11, 2011 at 7:54 am

Hey Michelle,

Thanks first of all for encouraging my other half to practice and learn the bodrhan. I’ve been trying to get him to play for years. I’m a fiddler and it would be great to play together. He’s now very enthusiastic!

I see you’re learning fiddle too – you won’t regret it, and any extra practice always makes a difference. One suggestion if you’re leaving your fiddle out is to get a ‘string swinger’ to hang it on the wall, it saves the cat trying to sleep on it! I bought one a few months back and love having my fiddle so handy and seeing it there reminds me how much I love playing.

I’m a Scottish lass living in England and my goal is to get enough tunes up to speed to have a ceilidh on Burns Night in January 2012. So thanks again for everything – we think you’re brilliant!

Louise x

Bonnie Wolfman September 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Michelle ~

OK ~ the family fiddle was recently restored and I would love to join you…no excuses!


Karen Haughton October 17, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Michelle ~ I don’t do the Facebook “thing” either so will be checking in here. I’m a whistle and flute player, more whistle than flute, and used to be a regular at the weekly Sessions in Kingston, Ont for several years. After moving west a few years ago I have not been playing very much at all. In fact, just met a budding bodhran player a few days ago and she’s the first person here who didn’t look at me funny when I said I played the whistle. I was actually looking for some sites to help her get started when I found your site and the Practice Challenge. So, I am accepting the 10 minute challenge and will be concentrating mainly on the whistle to start.


Walter T. Sano October 23, 2011 at 1:21 am

Your 10-minute-a-day challenge seems remarkably similar to Karl Ahren’s (from Mountain Ocarina) Fiving[1] (5-minute-a-day challenge), including the “keep your instrument within grasp” concept. Perhaps musicians with similar issues come up with similar solutions 🙂

[1] http://www.mountainsocarina.com/b/5mm-sign-up/

Karen Haughton October 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm

So far, so good. Have been taking my whistle on walks and serenading the wildlife. Interesting response from the coyotes! Missed the last few days due to inclement weather, however supposed to clear up tomorrow.


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