Time Managment

This week, I want to talk about time management and give you some tips about how best to plan your days. For the past month, I have been learning the best ways to adjust your schedule and fit in some practice time even when you think you can’t!

Most music majors average around 10 to 15 hours of required practice a week for their specified instrument. However, if you are a voice major like me, you may also choose to take piano lessons to hone your skills with that instrument. This means that I actually have 20 hours of required practice a week. Now, you’re probably thinking: “20 hours of practice a week? How in the world do you fit that in with homework, class and having a social life?” But over the past month, I have found some awesome ways to fit in all of my work, practice and fun!

The most important thing that I can tell anyone is: WRITE IT OUT. If you sit down and write out your schedule and see where the gaps in your day are, it makes your life a whole lot easier. Then you need to do a little math and see how much time you need to practice daily to fill your requirements. Here’s a little hint: If you have a very busy day on one day of the week and are only able to get in an hour of practice that day, you can make it up during the weekend! The weekend is a beautiful time to make up for lost hours because you have so much more free time.

So, besides writing it out, here are some of my ideas on how to manage your time wisely:

  • Get up early! Start your day by warming up for 30 minutes or an hour before you go get breakfast. It’s a great way to get your brain going.
  • Bring your practice materials with you everywhere. Then, if your class is cancelled or you get out early, you can run over to the practice room and sneak in some practice time!
  • Have a 30 minute break between classes? Go practice then! 30 minutes may not seem like a lot, but it can make a big difference, instead of sitting around and waiting for class to start.
  • You only need 30 minutes for lunch.  Seriously, that is all you need. That gives you enough time to eat and socialize, and then you may have an extra 30 minutes to an hour to practice.
  • If you’re doing your laundry, go to the practice room while you’re waiting for your clothes to be done!
  • Practicing does not always have to be done in the practice room! If you have your songs recorded on Audacity or another program like that, and your roommate is gone/does not mind, pull out your computer, warm up and get going! That way, it does not feel like as much effort to haul yourself over to the practice room.
  • Take your homework to the practice room! Take an hour to practice, an hour for homework and then another hour to practice. This eliminates the time it takes to walk back and forth to your dorm, and gives you a nice break between practice times.
  • Double dip on practice time! This only applies to girls who need practice for both voice and piano, but if I spend an hour singing and playing my accompaniment at the same time, that counts as an hour for both voice and piano!

I hope that these tips can help you feel better and more prepared for your lessons and less swamped when it comes to practice time. Just remember, sometimes you do need a break. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just stop working, give yourself 5 minutes and try again. You can do it!
Much love, Kat!

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Why I chose Meredith College

When you are a senior in high school, one of the things that is on your mind at all times is college. Where am I going? What do I want to do when I get there? How will I know if I made the right decision? For me, those answers all came to me during my visit to Meredith College for Scholarship Weekend in February 2012. At Meredith, if you apply for a music scholarship, you come to Meredith for a weekend to audition for the music faculty and at the same time, get to know some of the girls already in the department.

I was brought into Jones Chapel with the rest of the 170 girls there to prove themselves, and was suddenly taken away with the other girls there to pursue a music scholarship. We were then all taken into the music building and were greeted with small gifts and personalized notes to us about how happy the college was to have us here. That little touch of the music department already trying to take care of their students was incredible to me, I mean, they didn’t even know if we were coming to Meredith! That tone of personal attention continued throughout my entire weekend, through sitting in on classes, meeting the faculty, meeting current music students, and performances. I can’t remember a minute during that weekend when I was not smiling or laughing because of all the great people and great attitudes surrounding me.

When you first meet anyone that is part of the music department at Meredith, they automatically smile and start trying to memorize your name. They are welcoming, warm and ready to help with anything. They are also very serious about their music. I was told that if I wanted to be a music major, especially a music education major, I was going to have to work my very, very hard. However scary that sounded, I could tell that even though the department was going to ask a lot of me, that I would never be on my own in trying to accomplish everything I needed to.

That weekend was my answer to all my scary college questions. I knew I wanted to go to Meredith from that day on because of everything I had experienced in only a few days with the music faculty and students. Now that I am a full time student and just beginning my journey at Meredith, I am positive that I made the right decision because I already feel like a special part of the music department, which is a feeling I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere else!