Practice, Practice!

Today, I came across a wonderful article by Laurie Niles (but, then, she always writes beautiful articles!), about her “revelation” at the Colorado Suzuki Institute.

“We were watching the recital hour…when about 35 students came to the stage to receive an award.” These students had made a pledge to practice every day for a year!! Afterwards, all in the audience were asked if they would like to make a stand and proclaim the same pledge for themselves.

How many of us can say we’ve done that? And, for those who can and continue to hold to a daily practice regimen, I’ve a feeling you would say there’s no better way to go about it, that you’ve really “found the true way of practicing.”

“I’ve never missed a day of practice since I was three,” said Madison Alan-Lee, 12, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., without a hint of snobbery. She was holding the practice calendar she had received as an award for her accomplishment. “It’s just habit now. It’s almost hard if I don’t do it! Once I almost didn’t, when I was sick, but I dragged myself downstairs and played.”

Alas, like a commenter on this article, it’s too late for me to say the same! But, now that I’m teaching so many students – an average of six days a week – at least I am playing my violin every day to a certain degree, and at least I get a chance to run through a little Bach 🙂 in between some lessons. At the same time, I feel such invigoration and pride now, when I set aside some time for myself, even for just an hour or two, and play! I work on the technique I wish to accomplish, or on the pieces I love or long to play well. I tell my students what a joy it really is to have this time to treat yourself, and some are discovering it, while others are still having difficulty juggling the daily life of a modern, American kid, with numerous groups and projects demanding their attention. But that’s another article! :mrgreen:

Being an avid freelancer, I have a crazy schedule, too – as do we all, I’m sure. But I have found that, even stopping for thirty minutes to visit your instrument, is worth it! I feel like I’m spending time with a treasured friend (especially since my particular violin has been with me for thirteen years now!). And the more you play, the more comfortable you become with your instrument, and the better you sound – which encourages you to play more!

Music is such a wonderful gift to yourself. I am going to make this pledge as well – to spend any amount of time every day with my violin! Why don’t you try the same? Isn’t your instrument, and your invested time and talent, worth it? 😉

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  1. Excellent article, Sweetheart!

    For those you who are just tuning in, regular practice routines are not just for musicians. A regular practice routine can improve your accuracy and overall productivity in a number of facets, including but not limited to; writing, programing, athletics, learning a foreign language, and cognitive reading.

  2. Hee-hee, thanks! :mrgreen:

    We are creatures of habit, and we tend to do well whatever it is we do most often (which is why it’s most important to practice, for example, a musical passage correctly, more often than incorrectly!). But also, any practice time should be a regular time of creative meditation – a private time when the mind can be free to explore and create and discover – not merely a time of endless repetition. That’s just boring!

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