All-State Progress Stalled? Audit Your Practice Diet


Here in Kentucky, All-State auditions (recordings) are coming up in about three weeks.

For many students, this is usually the time in All-State preparation when things start to get a little bit mechanical or boring.

Instead of learning or improving, they are just running through the motions. Mistakes are getting “baked-in” and forward progress is coming to a halt.

If that sounds familiar, take a bit of time this week and adjust your “practice diet” for the final couple of weeks before All-State.

Practice Diet

Like a diet of food, we have a lot of control over what we ingest when we practice.

If you’re getting bored of your practice routine, or if you’re not improving in the ways you need to be, mix things up.

The 3 biggest things to pay attention to and exercise control over are:

  1. What you practice. (Exercises vs. etudes vs. literature, and practicing small sections vs. complete run-throughs)
  2. When you practice. (How many days per week, during the morning or night)
  3. How long you practice for. (How long is your practice session, and how long do you spend on the various items in part 1)

Taking stock of these three practice areas can show you some patterns that you might have fallen into. Noticing these patterns may also give you clues on how to get out of them.

If you have questions about your individual practice habits, reach out to me – I’m happy to help!

And if you want some final All-State touch-up, let me know and we can do one or two All-State-focused lessons to make sure you’re ready to do your best work in a few weeks!


About Colin Dorman

Colin is a freelance horn player and teacher, as well as a fan of tech of all sorts, aviation, and increasingly complex flight simulators. He also enjoys beer, bourbon and fitness - but not at the same time. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, as well as right here at ColinDorman.com!