At a recent workshop I conducted for a range of students, I surveyed them all to see how much they were practicing.
There were 67 instrumental and singing students involved, ranging from five to fifteen years of age. The results were very interesting.
On average they practice their instrument for twenty three minutes per day.
I then asked them how much time they spent on their I pads, I phones, tablets and various devices.
On average they spend two hours and twenty four minutes per day playing video games.
On the opposite ends of the scale there were some students who practice their instruments ten to twenty minutes a day and play on the I Pad for six or more hours per day. There were others who practice their instruments two to three hours a day who spend less than 20 minutes on the I Pad. It goes without saying that the students who practice more were displaying extremely higher degrees of musical proficiency.
I realize that it would be an almost impossible task to convince kids who spend most of their leisure time on digital devices to practice music for that amount of time, but I did suggest at least a slight reduction and using that time to practice.
In no way am I trying to suggest that video games are bad or harmful, I am just recommending a little more balance in the way we use our time every day. Practicing music is always a positive way to spend one's time. The benefits of playing music for any human being are profound.
A brilliant app that we recommend purchasing is: "Staff Wars', only $1.95 and a great way to help students learn to recognize notes on the music staff whilst having fun on the I pad. We have seen first hand, marked improvements in student's musical literacy who use this app.
That's all for now, have to get back to my practice!