How to stay cool in the practice room this summer

If you’re living in the northern hemisphere, you might be experiencing a heat wave at the moment. These languid days of summer make finding the motivation to practice extra difficult, so I’m here to help you stay cool in the practice room!

Practicing any instrument requires lots of physical and mental energy. Especially for wind players, practicing is very much a cardio activity, so it’s important to make sure you’re beating the heat to operate at your best in the practice room.

As the temperature climbs higher and higher, here are some ways you can stay cool in the practice room:

  • Practice early. If your family and neighbors don’t mind, playing early can help you avoid practicing during the hottest parts of the day. It’s also nice to practice early so the nagging sense of practice anxiety doesn’t loom over you all day.
  • Stay hydrated. Throughout the day, make sure you’re drinking enough water and other liquids. It might not seem like a big deal, but being hydrated will help you stay cool and also help keep your muscles hydrated, making practicing much easier.
  • Have water nearby while you practice. Make sure you use a reusable water bottle while you practice to encourage yourself to drink more water.
  • Sit down. Take a seat while you practice (just be sure to check your posture occasionally). If you do stand up, don’t lock your knees, and sit down immediately if you feel dizzy or light-headed.
  • Draw the curtains or cover the windows. Filter out the sunlight by using blinds, curtains, or other window coverings to lower the temperature in the practice room.
  • Turn on a fan. If the heat is unbearable, use a fan while you practice. This will affect your sound (as you probably remember from your childhood musical antics), so be sure to keep this in mind. Also, make sure your music is clipped to the stand so it doesn’t fly away.

Other things to consider this summer:

  • Even though the temperature might be sweltering outside, the air conditioning is probably on overdrive inside. Be careful to move your wood instruments away from vents or windows so they are not exposed to a drastic change in temperature or humidity.
  • Your instrument reacts differently to heat than it does to cold. Tuning, reeds, and several other factors might change, so keep an eye and ear out to see how to respond.

Stay cool, and happy practicing!

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