Daniel Q writes: 'I'm mainly struggling with finding the time to practice my magic tricks regularly enough.'
I feel your pain my friend. There's never enough time in the day for practice, but it's SO important!
From working with hundreds of magicians over the years, I've found out a few things about how to schedule regular practice.
Little and often is best.
The magic secret is to practice in short bursts, over several weeks and intervals between each practice session. The last thing you want to do is 'burn out' so pacing yourself with a practice program you can maintain is much more likely to be stuck to than a massive full scale practice binge when you remember to do it.
In cognitive science there are two forms of learning:
- Massed learning – when you practice and rehearse the material over a short space of time (cramming)
- Spaced learning – Small bursts of practice with lengthy spaces between sessions to allow you to consolidate the material.
Massed learning is very hard to sustain over the long term, and daily life is full of over distractions and commitments. By spacing your practice, you give your fingers a chance to rest, your mind can mull over the material you have studied, and you will be less distracted by all your other tasks planned that day.
I tend to recommend two practice sessions per day. 10 minutes in the morning and 10 at night. Focusing on just one magic trick at a time. Start by drilling the mechanics of the trick a few times, then run through a whole performance.
That's it for the day. Repeat this for 21 days
After that first magic practice sequence, record yourself performing the trick and assess how you are progressing.
If you have days when you can fit more in, go with it. But don't burn out! Just make a commitment always to spare those two quick 10 minute practice sessions.
Everyone is busy! But it's pretty easy to find just 10 minutes in the morning and 10 at night, even if you have to set your alarm clock a bit early during the 21 day period.
But, what's the best way actually to plan the work that I do in those practice sessions?
Well, here's some advice on practice practice from Noa Kageyama, Ph.D.
Best wishes and good luck with your magic practice.