Beyond the Practice Room

The spring semester concluded from the comfort of our homes via online communication.  For much of summer break, I was developing personal outlooks to improve on the college lifestyle. Likewise, pursuing opportunities to grow as an individual is what led me to the University of Oklahoma and TBS in the first place. As a musician, there is a lot of stigma about practicing because it ultimately has an impact on your performance. The practice is a routine for success. Comparably, maintaining your physical and mental health is imperative to improve performance in any field. I took note of what I do beyond the practice room.

Eat healthily! I have spent several hours each week preparing meals that offer nutritional value and great taste. This has significantly improved my consistency in mealtimes. Enveloped in my studies, there is pressure to prioritize assignments or practice over personal health. Planning to spend time in the kitchen creates an awareness of the foods you eat and does not interfere with the pending tasks of the day. Big thanks to my sister, Kinady Allen, who recently introduced me to some new recipes. I have not been able to successfully recreate any family dishes, but still enjoy the flavor of a home cooked meal.

Exercise regularly! As a summer swim instructor, I was able to get some laps in from time to time. There was obvious room for improvement, and I wanted to be sure I was presenting the best coaching possible. Additionally, exercise increases brain function about memory and thinking skills. Now that fall weather is upon us in early September, take advantage of these pleasant days by going for a stroll. 

Rest up! Nothing is better than a good night’s sleep. There are countless studies to suggest getting an appropriate amount of sleep is essential to physical health. I thoroughly enjoy watching movies and TV shows in the evening, but only if time allows. Breakfast/coffee is best coupled with a positive attitude to work through the day to the best of your abilities. 

Read more! It may be difficult to gauge what book is right for you. That is why I propose to just keep reading. Eventually, you will come across something that interests you. I hit my stride after taking an introduction to psychology course. The professor suggested I read specialized topics that are not covered by the class in depth. I was captivated. Reading outside of the required materials is not a chore. Developing your interests is an important attribute as you prepare to contribute valuable knowledge at school, work, and organizations.

Study diligently! The word homework can strike an anxious tone. I refer to assignments as tasks that need to complete. This doubles for practicing. Setting an hour aside to practice is a vague interpretation of reviewing fundamentals, material, etc. Instead, I like to maximize efficiency by considering the specific tasks I need to accomplish. 

Stay connected! Reach out to friends and family. Some might know how much I like to call to communicate. There is so much joy in letting others know that you are thinking of them. Throughout the summer, I was adamant in sending letters to friends at camp or calling to check-in. 

These are a few of many suggestions that help me personally as we navigate this semester. In other news, the Delta Chapters continue to assist The Pride of Oklahoma in devising precautionary measures to combat COVID-19. We also continue to discover new means of connecting through the online platform. Looking ahead the school year might appear complicated, but we must take this opportunity to care for ourselves. In summary, seek new recipes, move around, take a nap, develop your interests, organize tasks, and be a sister. Feel free to share what you do beyond the practice room!


Matthew Frontz

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