The Perfect Twenty-Minute Singing Practice Session (With a Cup of Tea)
Easily find 20 minutes of time a day to get your daily burst of personal choir practice.
Posted By Mary Williams – Choir Leader, Singer & Blog Writer
I know. And I totally get it. Finding time to fit in a choir singing practice session in a hectic life feels hard –almost impossible. It feels like we don’t have any time to spare. You are exhausted and demotivated and wonder why you do this choir singing “hobby”.
So many of us struggle to get motivated to learn our music – despite knowing the amazing benefits of how confidence-boosting it feels to be on top of your singing practice. This blog article will help you.
The Challenge of Balancing Singing Practice and Daily Life
As someone working full time building my business and undertaking freelance writing work whilst juggling a family of three almost grown-up teenage daughters, a husband (hehe!) and worries about caring for elderly family members, I feel like it’s virtually impossible at times to find time to learn my music.
Seriously life is full on.
I am stuck between child rearing, husband loving, parent caring and feeling the effects of getting older myself.
So I am well qualified in having no time, and therefore I can help you find time to practice your singing by sharing my experience.
The Power of Routine
I find time for running, walking, and exercising each morning without fail, as I have gotten into good habits as my morning routine. Sometimes I listen to my choir tracks during exercise, but it’s not deep practice.
And I spend a hideously embarrassing amount of time scrolling Facebook and reading Medium (please feel free to follow my channel), watching movies on Prime and reading books each week.
According to a 2021 study by Datareportal, the average internet user spends around 145 minutes on social media daily. That’s more than seven times the amount of time needed for a 20-minute singing session.
I do a lot of writing, drawing and painting too. I am a typical creative type.
So yes – I do have plenty of time. I have no excuse.
Finding Time for Singing
I love my choir singing in my life, so I need to find the time and a place to practice.
Banish my wasted hours and find a way that allows me to relax between work and family commitments that also get the songs learned for both the choirs I lead and the singing groups I belong to.
And it’s important to stay on top of it – as at the moment; I am learning no less than seven new songs that have to be down and memorised in the next 3-4 weeks.
Plus, the ongoing maintenance of the existing song repertoire. I’d hate to get rusty.
Blimey. I feel tired thinking about it -and they say that this choir singing is a hobby?
It’s like a job if I allow it to take over.
So I also need to ensure it doesn’t feel like a chore or overdo it, as that will lead to burnout and procrastination.
5 Steps to a Successful Singing Practice Session
So, here’s what I do to get some deep practice in.
Neuroscience research has shown that short, focused practice sessions can be more effective than longer, less frequent ones. A study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience found that spreading learning across several short sessions (a technique known as ‘spacing’) could improve memory retention by up to 30%.
1. Set aside some time each day – just a few minutes.
This can be any time of day.
I find for me that it is best done in the morning after my exercise and before work. Catching myself before I have given myself a lame excuse to use avoidance tactics internally like “I’m tired” or “I’ll wait until tomorrow”.
By picking this time, I avoid my children who – depending on the day of the week or school holidays are already at school or having a teenage lie-in that takes up the whole morning.
Don’t schedule too long – 10-20 mins is enough whilst forming your new habit.
2. Make a Cup of Tea
It begins with making myself a cup of tea (or you can choose whatever tickles your fancy).
I have a cup of tea in my routine after my post-exercise shower to give myself a physical rest. This is some of the mindless wasted time that I might quickly start a few minutes of reading or internet browsing – a perfect time to repurpose for my singing practice.
3. I get my singing materials.
I gather just one piece of music in a session (to avoid overwhelm – another story) and the resources I need to practice that song. Then I usually grab a pencil, learning tracks, recordings, any notes I have and maybe a keyboard if you use one.
4. I find a different space in my home.
Then I go somewhere else in my house to create a different purposeful vibe for my choir song learning.
So, for me, places to avoid are my office -where I work on my business and my lounge, where I usually relax. My living room is also under my children’s bedrooms – so I don’t want to risk waking them from their beauty sleep.
It needs to be an alternative place. Therefore, I often choose my kitchen as my singing zone.
5. I get singing.
Then I work through my music – for the duration, it takes me to drink my cup of tea.
Now, this isn’t a blog article about “How to Practice”, as I have written a lot about that already in my other articles. Look around my other blog pages and subscribe and download my free PDF for a guide on music learning.
The Miracle of the Tea-Singing Session
Suddenly 15-20 minutes have passed.
It’s amazing. By staying put and uninterrupted with my miracle cup of tea,
I’ve got in more practice than none.
And it’s not just “only” 20 minutes.
It mounts up.
Adding Up the Minutes: The Impact of Daily Practice
The time calculations will help make it clear.
20 minutes a day x 7 days = 140 minutes = 2hrs and 20 minutes
That’s enough to have significant progress in your choir learning and improve your singing voice.
And how about adding a late afternoon or evening “tea singing session” into that…
Well, you are looking at 4-5 hours a week.
Now we are talking.
This is personal rehearsal time that is hardly taking any valuable time from your life at all.
I don’t notice it when repurposing my song learning into my tea break. In fact, I’m a much better singer in periods where I am daily and consistent – and the results are stunning when I stick to this easy plan.
You’ll feel happier and more prepared for your choir practice, and everyone will be happy.
Try it for yourself. Give it a go.
Taking the Challenge: Join the Singing-with-A cup Of-Tea Movement
So there you have it, my secret recipe for making choir practice a part of my daily routine. Now it’s your turn! Try this Singing with a Cup of Tea (or coffee or water…) method for a week and notice the difference it makes.
Remember, it doesn’t have to feel like a chore or a task. The goal is to enjoy the process and improve your singing skills bit by bit.
Are you ready to take on the challenge? Share your experiences in and on my social media accounts, and tag me. I would love to hear how it works for you. Let’s start a conversation, exchange tips, and motivate each other in our singing journeys.
If you want more helpful tips on choir practice, singing techniques, or balancing hobbies with a busy life, subscribe to my blog or follow me on social media. Let’s keep the music playing!
Thank you for reading the singing blog post. I hope you find it useful.
Please subscribe to my blog. And then please share my post on social media and recommend my website to your friends and choirs. I’d love to make more of my hobby writing, and I need your support to make it happen.
Come and join my choir if you live within driving distance of Bristol on a Thursday evening.
Show me your support! It costs money to run this blog for hosting, theme and other website costs. If you liked this article, please show your support to cover the costs and click here to make a small donation or buy me a coffee.