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By: Konner Scott

Christmas themed picture of a violin laying atop a wooden piano with christmas decorations and sheet music

Ask people to give you a word to describe the holiday season, and I’m sure the answers would vary wildly… but I would hazard a guess that the word “relaxed” would rank low on the list. Whether due to family drama, travel chaos, interrupted work schedules, or anything else, the holiday season often can be a source of instability.

I’ve found, personally, that amidst the chaos, it’s imperative to carve out time for my practice routine. Not only does it keep some semblance of order in my holiday schedule, but it’s a place I can disappear and escape the holiday craziness for a little while. I almost always travel with my acoustic guitar, as well as a 48-key foldable electric travel keyboard that has turned out to be a great investment. Although not ideal for practicing full songs, it’s enough for me to practice finger work, chord voicings, and other techniques where I may not need the full range of an 88-key piano.

Often, I’ll go spend time with my family in various parts of the country. In these situations, I make it clear that although I love them dearly and I want to spend time with them, my practice time is a non-negotiable and it’s important for my sanity. My family is full of people as loud, competitive, and opinionated as I am, so it’s crucial for me to have that block of time in my day (sometimes only 20-30 minutes) where I can escape and disappear into my musical haven.

At this point in my life, I’ve developed a meditative relationship with my practice routine. It’s a place where I know what’s expected of me, I can track my progress, and it allows me to pull my focus away from the outside world and from the hamster wheel in my head. At the conclusion of a practice session, I almost always feel more serene, focused, and clearheaded, even if the practice session didn’t necessarily go the way I was hoping. Over the holiday season, this “resetting” of my perspective is absolutely crucial.

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