FeaturedNovember 2020

Do You Practice Like a Pro? Quiz

by Dr. Terri Sanchez from theself-inspiredflutist.com
Visit www.practicejunkie.com to learn more about emotionally intelligent practicing. Terri Sánchez is a Miyazawa Performing Artist and Senior Lecturer in Flute at the University of Texas at Arlington and Kate Martin is the Associate Principal/2nd Flutist of the Midland-Odessa Symphony. Terri and Kate are passionate about helping musicians like you move from practice anxiety to practice empowerment!

Answer the following questions and find out! Keep track of your answers so you can read your results at the end of the quiz.

1. How often you look forward to practicing?

a. Always
b. Most of the time
c. Sometimes
d. Not often


2. How often do you practice?

a. Every day
b. Almost every day
c. A few times a week
d. Every once in a while


3. How often do you procrastinate practicing?

a. Never
b. Every once in a while
c. Pretty often
d. When do I not procrastinate practicing?


4. How high is practicing on your priority list?

a. Very high
b. Important
c. Pretty important
d. I practice after all my other to-dos are done


5. How productive does your practice feel?

a. Extremely productive
b. Often productive
c. Occasionally productive
d. I really struggle with productive practice


6. Which of the following most resembles your mood during a typical practice session?

a. Calm, clear, focused, and often inspired
b. Serious
c. Casual
d. Frustrated


7. How often do you take breaks while practicing?

a. I take little breaks often and bigger breaks as needed
b. I stay very focused and seldom take breaks
c. I feel like I don't have time to take breaks
d. If I need a break, I just decide to practice later


8. What is the pace of your practicing generally like?

a. Easy, but flowing
b. Pushing forward
c. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow
d. Often hurried or frantic


9.  How confident do you feel in your ability to solve practice challenges?

a. Very confident
b. Pretty confident
c. Somewhat confident
d. Insecure


10. How often do you experience anxiety during a practice session?

a. Rarely
b. Sometimes
c. Often
d. Almost always


11. How long are your practice sessions?

a. As long as I need to stay in great flute shape and be productive
b. As long as I can with my busy schedule
c. Not very long
d. I have trouble practicing for more than a few minutes.


12. Which one of the following practicing superpowers would you most like to have?

a. The ability to stop time so I can practice as much as I want!
b. The ability to solve any practice challenge.
c. The ability to make practicing go by faster.
d. The ability to skip practicing but still get the benefits.


13. How many repetitions do you typically allow yourself when solving practicing challenges or learning new music?

a. As many as it takes to feel progress
b. As many as it takes to play it perfectly
c. As many as I can play before I get frustrated
d. I don't often use repetitions in my practice


14. If your best friend were to ask you how your practicing has been going lately, what are you most likely to say?

a. Great! Let me tell you about this new piece I've been learning.
b. It's really hard work, but I know it's worth it.
c. Well, you know how it goes...
d. Ugh. Let's talk about something else!
Now, tally your score!
a = 3 points
b = 2 points
c = 1 point
d = 0 points

If your score was 39 to 42... you practice like a pro!

You generally have a good attitude when it comes to practicing and you place practicing high on your priority list. You balance patience and productivity so that you can give yourself plenty of time to learn your music but also prepare your music well for upcoming performances. You aren't too intimidated by difficult practice projects and believe in your ability to continue growing as a musician every time you practice.

If your score was 30-38...

Good start! You are definitely on your way to practicing like a pro, but there is still room for improvement. Read the description above to see what practicing like a pro can feel like! You can also browse through all the "a" answers in the quiz to get some new ideas for more self-inspired and productive practice.

If your score was 20-29...

The good news is that you do care about practicing. The bad news is that you haven't learned how beneficial and satisfying practicing can actually be. Begin setting some new goals for better practice and take this quiz again in a week or so to see if you can improve your score!

If your score was below 20... 

You are in need of a practicing makeover! If you would really like to become a better musician, it's important that you rethink the way you approach your practice sessions. Read through this entire quiz carefully so you can get some new ideas and begin improving right away.
Happy Practicing!
Terri Sànchez

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