Whether you "hoot" late at night or "tweet" early in the morning, the time of day that you're most alert can say a lot about when you will get the most out of your daily piano practicing.
Many musicians tend to be night owls as that is they way their schedules are set up. Rehearsals and performances usually happen at night and on weekends. It's rare for a musician to hit the bed before midnight during a performance run.
This doesn't mean though, that each of these same musicians are really night people...it may be that they function better in the mornings, but work demands that they perform at night.
Everyone actually - musician or not, has their own biological rhythms that follow certain patterns that are not consciously controlled. We can manipulate them to fit in with work and life demands, but are we functioning at our best if we do?
The scientific name for this natural rhythm is Circadian Rhythm and it is the human physical "clock" that runs on a 24 hour cycle, just like a one day period runs on our planet.
For some, this cycle runs longer than others. When it does, it cause people to be more of a night owl. Morning people tend to have shorter Circadian Cycles and that is why they are most alert in the mornings and the least alert at the end of the day.
This biological clock of ours also has its own ebbs and flows.
When we compare the two in terms of productivity and quality of life, some studies have shown that night owls are more susceptible to depression and can have irregular sleep patterns. On the positive side, night owls can focus better and for longer time periods later in the day, than their counterparts, the early birds; and get this, might even be smarter! (source)
Conversely, early birds tend to be happier people with a more positive outlook, and have more regular sleep patterns. They tend to procrastinate less than the owls and are in general, more agreeable, proactive and more of a team player as well.
What Does This Have To Do With Piano Practicing?
A lot! The best time to practice your piano is when you are feeling your peak amount of energy, focus and alertness.
Why? Because you can get the most accomplished in the least amount of time.
This is important, because when you can identify when you are 'your best' in each day, you'll see more progress in all areas of your life, by getting the most important things accomplished during that time period.
Let's figure out whether you hoot or chirp!
First, start observing how you feel at different points in each day.
With a little observational skills, you can tell where in the day you can get your best work and/or practicing done.
Now what you want to do is begin scheduling your practice time during your peak hours.
Look at the number of hours you have in each day as a budget of sorts. You have to 'budget' in your practice time, so you get the best work done in the least amount of time.
Do you normally practice for an hour, but in a time of the day that is not in your peak hours? OK...switch it around. Try practicing for 1/2 that amount of time...30 minutes, during your peak hours.
Why would you schedule less practice time? Because you'll get more done.
If time is limited by work or family demands...try practicing for just 15 minutes instead. The more you do this, the more you'll be able to work in 5 more minutes here and there.
The key is...to find your best time of the day and utilize that time to get the most accomplished. It just makes good sense, really.
Interestingly, the more you do this with your piano practicing, the more you will incorporate it into other areas of your life, and will end up becoming more productive in work and other things that you want to accomplish.
This is just one of the many ways that learning the piano helps us to function better in life!
So don't leave it to the birds...be your best by finding your own unique rhythm and learning to work with your energy to accomplish more and play the piano better!
Stay tuned to LessonsOnTheWeb to learn much more!
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