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Discover simple ways to make your practice routine fun and engaging. Get a FREE pdf with 5 simple practice games for musicians!

There is nothing better than to combine business with pleasure. Every day we experience a lot of pressure to practice as much as possible and be super productive. You know how it is, sometimes we manage to do what we have planned, sometimes the mere thought of acting fills us with discouragement. One day, playing an instrument can be the most rewarding thing in the world, and the next day we want to pack our instrument and put it up for sale on eBay.  I’ve been there, believe me. Before you give up your music career and go on a meditation retreat to Nepal, make sure you have done your best to have fun in your practice routine. Yes, you hear right! I don’t care if you have a talent or not (the answer is you have) or if you practice enough. I want your priority to be having the best time in your life practicing your instrument. Can you promise me that? 

I know how it sounds. Another person tries to tell you that if you love something, you will not have to work anymore, that your passion is enough to overcome all adversities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Of course, doing what we like and are good at is extremely important. You can read a separate post on this topic. However, it is naive to expect that only passion will drive us for the rest of our lives.  

Listen, music is like love. In the beginning, you need that first spark to ignite the flame, but if you don’t protect it from the wind, it can go out quickly.

FlowStick

Forgive me for this comparison, but I’m still in the Valentine’s Day mood. To keep this fire burning, you have to be creative. Fortunately, you are not alone with this.

I invite you to a world where every hour of practicing can become great fun. A world where there is no boredom and every musician wants to practice more and more. Finally, to a place where you can experiment and create your own reality: the world of games.

What is Music Gamification?

In case you’ve never heard of gamification, here is a short definition of it. Gamification is the introduction of the rules and elements of games in a non-game environment. In the context of practice, the game can be used to diversify learning a new piece, memorizing, or goal setting. By introducing a few game rules, your practice routine can become exciting and even addictive! Thanks to the design and operation of the games, they are a natural machine for learning to overcome challenges while remaining fun and engaging. 

If you are still reluctant to introduce a few games into your daily routine, think about it this way. Gamification is present in our lives every day. Whether you shop, use the app or watch advertisements, you are a consumer of gamified content.  Big companies use this technique to encourage people to buy. After all, taking part in contests, lotteries, or using coupons is only one of its elements. And it works! Why shouldn’t you take advantage of it when you practice your instrument? 

How to gamify your practice routine?

That’s all very well, but how do you bring these principles into your daily practice routine, you might ask. Nothing could be simpler. Repeating the same actions is one of the elements of the games. Think of it this way. Most games involve performing the same activities, like killing monsters, taking part in a race, or solving difficult puzzles. The fact that you have to play one passage for the 100th time is only an advantage. It’s easier to make rules for your own game.

This is what I would like to encourage you to do. Create your own game that will be tailored to your needs. Set clear rules, create hero stories, define your enemies and discover your superpowers. Only you know what you are struggling with and how to deal with it.

You don’t really need anything to create your game except a piece of paper. When you have some time, sit at the desk and write down the rules of the game. For example, if your problem is irregular practice. Create the following game: For every hour of practice, you get one point, after reaching a certain number of points in the month you can get a reward. Don’t be afraid to give negative points because sometimes they motivate more than the positive ones. Determine who your enemy is, for example, distractions like your cell phone, and write down how you will deal with them. Don’t forget about your superpowers, such as the ability to sight-read quickly and give yourself extra points for using them. I don’t want to suggest too much about the game you make. I believe creating it can be the most fun for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and change the rules when you find they are working against you. This game is to help you, not to trap you in its own rules. So get down to business and discover how fun practicing an instrument can be!

3 ways to gamify your practice routine 

I understand that not everyone has the time and willingness to create their own game. No worries. There are many ready-made solutions that allow you to use the power of gamification without any effort. Below you will find 3 ways to gamify your practice routine: 

Gamification app

Virtually all of us use a cell phone. It is an indispensable part of our life and even practice routine. Applications are gaining more and more popularity and are not only another distraction but a tool for greater efficiency. Thanks to the forest application, you can water a virtual plant every time you perform a task like practicing an instrument. You have a visual representation of the consequences of your actions. Your plants can only grow if you care for them, which means doing something that is important to you. Another great application is SuperBetter, which uses the rules of the games in our daily struggles. It is, in a way, a compromise between creating your own game and using ready-made methods. It’s easy to customize to create something that helps you practice better and more effectively. 

Habit trackers

This is probably one of the easiest methods. Take a piece of paper, list all the days of the month and when you complete the task for a given day, just tick it off. Not only will you be able to track your progress, but you will also form good habits. If you want to spice it up a little bit, just make a game out of it. Use the Habitica application and enjoy the progress you’ve made. 

Traditional games

Use games that you already know well, e.g. Monopoly, puzzles, card games, or Jenga. And just change a few rules to support your musical goals. Some of them can be found in the free pdf that we have prepared for you. There are 5 simple games for musicians that make practicing the best part of your life. All you need to do is to subscribe to our newsletter and get the free gift from us 

5 Practice Games for Musicians - FlowStick ensemble

Hope you feel inspired and decide to create your own game. If not, then you already know some ways to apply gamification principles in your music life. Be sure to check out the PDF we created for you. There you will find more ideas and practice games.