Should I take the summer off? Continue with weekly lessons? Or step it up a notch and come twice a week since my schedule is more open?
There is no right answer for everyone. I don't recommend taking the entire summer off from playing your instrument, though. It just makes it harder to get back into it when you pick it back up again in the fall, and that can be discouraging.
Summer is a good time to get in some extra practice time and jump up your playing a notch. I have several students coming twice a week during the summer months, and I expect they will be happy with their progress over the next two months.
Many students are preparing for fall auditions so that is a goal to work toward. If you don't have any upcoming auditions, you can pick one aspect of your playing that you would like to improve. Perhaps it's sight-reading, rhythmic accuracy, technical facility, or getting familiar with a new style of music. Be sure to let your teacher know your goal!
Summer is also a great time to take a break. Take a couple of weeks off and don't play your instrument at all. If you can get away with, don't do any work and go offline. Ahh.. There is magic and rejuvenation to be found in nature and spending relaxed time with family and friends. If you really have hard time taking a break, consider that research backs up the value of learning in cycles in everything from athletics to music. (This means intense times of learning, interspersed with time for the knowledge to soak in and your body and mind to grow and recover.) I am looking forward to a couple of weeks off at the end of August, where I plan to take a road trip with my family and enjoy National Parks, and swim and wander as much as possible.
So, what to do with music this summer? Depending on your goals, I recommend some combination of playing your instrument and taking time off.
Speaking of goals...have you set a summer music goal yet? I have!
Hi! My name is Mariya, and I teach flute and piano lessons in Redmond, WA and am a performing musician. Here I share thoughts about learning music and helping others learn how to play an instrument.