“The benefits far outweighed the cost!”
When I first subscribed to the Structured Practice Journal, I didn’t know if it would work for me. There are so many books, tools, mouthpieces, etc out there that advertise as "this is an easy way for you to become a better player!" I wasn't sure if I wanted to shell out the money for another "tool" that might not even help.
Now that I’ve been using it for several months, I can honestly say that this program has made me much better at keeping a consistent and productive practice schedule. The benefits I've received from it have far outweighed the cost!
My favorite part about SPJ is the statistics. I love seeing how much I've practiced in the last week, what my average practice time is, how many consecutive days I've practiced, and what percentage of my time I've spent on what. Seeing all this information is a huge motivator for me.
SPJ has also helped me stay organized: Each day I go to practice I know exactly what pieces or exercises I need to practice and the order in which I should practice them
The statistics allow me to see exactly how much I've been practicing and what pieces. The notes feature allows me to pick off right where I left off and allows me to retain insights from previous practice sessions
Although the old saying "it's not how much you practice, it's how you practice" is very true, it still motivates me to see my average daily practice time. If it starts to drop down below where I want it I'm motivated to practice more.
The Structured Practice Journal has helped my practicing more than any other tool/program that I've tried. It allows to you practice efficiently, which is the key.
“Turned my practicing from a frustrating, disorganized mess into a pleasurable experience”
Before signing up for the Structured Practice Journal I had been using a traditional pen-and-paper practice log, and needed something to help me make my practice time more efficient. I was a little bit concerned about how hard it would be to learn how to use this new method, but with it being so affordable, I decided to give it a try.
Once I started using the SPJ, I was thrilled to discover that there were ways that I could structure my practicing that I hadn't considered before. The analytics features, sub-items, and ability to leave comments and goals for myself in a very streamlined format helped me become much more organized and efficient.
What I like the most about SPJ is the analytics. I don't have to spend as much time re-reading comments, calculating time, or prioritizing my practice schedule because the analytics features and rotating list of items quickly give me all the information I need to be productive during my next practice session.
The ability for students and teachers to share information and create assignments is a must have for any private instructor or studio teacher. I think SPJ is also a great way to teach a student about appropriate and healthy practicing and time management skills. Finally, the ability to create items, sub-items, and other similar features and organize them by level of importance are fantastic and easy to use.
Music students and teachers alike can benefit from the organization and structure SPJ provides. I also think that anyone who does a variety of tasks or needs to track several activities (such as physical trainers) could greatly benefit from SPJ as well.
The Structured Practice Journal is a fantastic service that has turned my practicing from a frustrating, disorganized mess into a pleasurable experience in just a matter of weeks.
“So Many Great Features”
I already had a system for organizing my practice using a notebook, so when I decided to try the Structured Practice Journal, I didn’t really think it would be much different or more efficient than what I was already doing. Turns out I was wrong!
Having the ability to make practice items and have them in a rotation is huge! It reminds you so can focus on practicing, which is hard enough already. Seeing notes from days or weeks earlier also helps you see your progress, which is great. The timer and averages are extremely helpful when you're trying to beef up how much time you spend practicing. The pie graph helped me a lot to realize where I needed to balance my practice as well. So many great features!!
My favorite feature is the ability to set up different materials in a rotation and vary the importance of those items. Along with a timer and notepad right there. It's perfect.
The Structured Practice Journal helps keep me focused, because I don't want to waste time while the clock is running. I create practice items for all the different instruments I play, so I can schedule different instruments every day.
“Recommended for any serious player”
Dr. Flegg’s system allows me to see not only what my students are practicing but, even more significantly, how they think about their practicing in the moment. Its format fosters active listening, goal setting, and time management—essential skills for aspiring musicians.
Structured Practice Journal also enables me to stay on top of my own hectic schedule. It reminds me of what to practice so that I don’t have to remember where I left off or what I have coming up, helps me to balance my repertoire with my fundamentals, and keeps me honest about how much time I have actually spent with my horn. Mark Flegg has put together a great product—I would recommend it to any serious player.
“I'm Getting More Paying Gigs!”
When my teacher suggested I try the Structured Practice Journal, I was already swamped with a full time job and playing in a number of groups. With rehearsals and a large number of pieces to practice and managing trumpet lessons it was already overwhelming to add one more item, but it was great! It allowed me to organize my music and I was able to effectively practice. I was better prepared for band rehearsals and solos plus I was better prepared for my trumpet lessons.
I love the SPJ goal-setting! What a great feature allowing you to focus on passages that need improvement and not wasting time on material that you can play without any issues. As a come back player it has improved my playing. I now am comfortable performing duets with people who hold master's degrees in trumpet performance. Using SPJ has helped me focus on what I need to practice. But, one big benefit, I get more paying gigs - which is nice as a come back player.
“Helps Keep Everything Organized”
SPJ has been great for me. It helped me get through a dramatic embouchure change during this past year. Having the ability to go back and look at my past notes easily was incredibly helpful. The subcategories are amazing, and the teacher flags are a genius feature! It has made a huge difference in my practicing!
My favorite feature has to be the statistics! The consecutive days and the meter for practice minutes and the average minutes are awesome and fun! I am a geek about stats and it got me in the practice room even when I absolutely did not want to go.
I have a great time with this program and recommend it to anyone who wants to get better on their instrument!
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