Practice Hacks: The Pencil Problem

Practice Hacks: The Pencil Problem

The pencil monster struck again.

I was listening to my 8 year-old daughter while she was practicing. She was playing the flute in her room and I stepped in to help her by circling some notes in the method book. “Where is your pencil?” I asked. She wasn’t sure but maybe she used it to complete her reading log and maybe it was on the floor… or under the bed… or maybe her brother took it… or maybe the cat was playing with it…. Five minutes later, we still couldn’t find the pencil, so I went looking in the office (only pens here), then traipsing downstairs to grab one from the music studio. By the time I retuned, pencil in hand, she had wandered off to play with Legos and I couldn’t remember which note I wanted to circle anyway.

Sound familiar?

It’s important to keep everything you need for practicing within an arm’s reach.

I have a shelf that clips to the music stand:


music stand shelf

My next purchase is going to be a caddy that attaches to the stand like this:

music stand caddy


Or you might have a Gummi Bears (TM) plastic cup filled with mechanical pencils and other writing utensils on the table next to your music stand.


pencil cup


Practicing is hard work. Sometimes something as simple as a missing pencil can seem overwhelming. Conveniences like having what you need where and when you need it can be the difference between wasted time and progress.

My daughter now has a shelf on her stand and five mechanical pencils. It won’t solve all of her practicing problems, but maybe she will circle the next A-sharp she misses.