In conversations with many of my students, I notice that some don’t have a place they call their own to practice. Even though it may seem trivial, I think that having your own place to practice help the process. Practicing isn’t always pretty. Nor its it always fun and exciting. Do you really need a parent/sibling/significant other coming into your space asking, “How many more times are you going to do that?” Or be afraid that if you play too loud your hear some complaints, or if you play loud enough they will be able to hear your mistakes? Playing self-consciously will only translate into your lessons and performances. So what can you do?
Well it’s hard to give exact answers. But finding a place to be by yourself is a starting point. It can be upstairs in the bedroom while your husband or wife is downstairs working/watching TV. Maybe waking up a bit earlier to get some practicing in before roommates get up. If you have an extra room, try to create a small practice room. A room that allows you to get away from outside influence and lets you put your attention to the music, where you can play as loud as you want. Sing as horribly out of tune and loud as possible without fear of retaliation from someone. When practicing all of our strengths and weakness show. It’s a very vulnerable moment for a musician, one that we don’t want others to see. Having your own practice space allows you to go through those moments without feeling self-conscious of what people think.
For me, because I’m rarely in my own apartment I use my school’s practice cells or rooms that are available. Also, when I go to teach, I have my own room that I can use to practice. While it certainly isn’t ideal (I’d like to have an actual room dedicated to practicing with a computer for listening/working on, have recording equipment set up, and a place to keep and organize all my scores) it works for now. It makes quite the difference and lets me get my work done.
While it seems like a small point, I feel its an important one. It’s one that may change the course of how your work, and what you are able to get accomplished!