How Do You Track Your Instrument Practice Progress?

Learning to play an instrument is about more than practicing every day. If you want to have any hope of getting better, you need to practice in a productive and efficient way. Unfocused practice can not only stall your progress, but actually make your playing worse by cementing bad habits that are difficult to unlearn. Therefore, it’s important to use your practice time wisely.

How will you know if you’re practicing well? Most people would say the answer lies in the results; if you’re getting better, then the routine is working. But knowing how much better you’re getting and at what rate, as well as what types of exercises are most successful, can bring more depth to your practice methods. Here are some tips about how to track your practice progress so you can get a full picture of the results.

Set Goals


Before you can decide whether you’re getting better at a new instrument or new piece of music, you have to decide what “better” means to you. Setting practice goals will help you determine whether you’ve progressed towards them or not. You can also set goals for play time to ensure you’re getting enough practice hours in.

Starting slow will also help you achieve more meaningful results from your practice sessions. Rather than immediately jumping into a song, take a few minutes to start your routine with some exercises or warm-ups. You may also want to start slow literally, playing through the piece at your own pace before increasing tempo over time. Both of these tactics ensure that you’re thinking intentionally about your practice time and the piece you’re working on.

Exceed Your Expectations

It might seem daunting to keep track of musical goals, instrument practice progress, and practice routines all at once, but there are several handy tools to help you with that task.

At Johnson String Instrument we offer a musicians journal designed to track musical progress and goals. With twelve months of pages featuring monthly recaps, short and long term goals, and practice tips, the Practice Note has everything a new musician needs to monitor their improvement. Before you know it you’ll be able to look back on a full year of practice and see how far you’ve come.

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

Located in Newton, Massachusetts, Carriage House Violins is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument.

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Johnson String Project

A charitable foundation whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in under-served communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts.

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