Robert J. Lawrence (Jimmy)
9/20/15: Before we start - welcome to Exodus Music! This article was published in seven parts on our old website. We will begin adding graphics and interactive content, as well as downloadables to our blogs in the near future - in the meantime, I'd really love your feedback in the comments: What kind of content would you like to see in our blog? Thanks, and enjoy!
My own struggles
I would sit at the piano, and begin playing through whatever piece I wanted to work on – sometimes playing through it two or three times. Then I'd pull out the next piece, and the next, and after about a half hour, I would give myself a "break" because I was bored out of my mind. Later in life, I set up a routine, to start with warm-ups, follow with repertoire, and finish by playing through music I really enjoyed – but it was so hard to follow through with the routine, and I'd often get distracted and just end up playing through my already learned music. I was not very productive, and I still found myself bored and uninterested, even through my desire to play more and more difficult and interesting pieces. I would often get lost in an improvised idea, which actually led to more frustration due to a lack of progress.
Many budding musicians have a hard time practicing – or wanting to practice for that matter. Although my practicing has improved drastically over the years, I can definitely relate – but when your life becomes so busy that it's hard enough just to make time to practice, then I hope this blog will help you get the most out of your practice time, and enjoy it, too.
Why practice is important
All professional musicians practice – even those who play full-time (some of them say they don't, but I'm going to say that those performing twelve hours a day are probably engaged in what I'd call "active practice" – something I'll talk about in another post). You don’t need a teacher to tell you how important practice is – but we do tell our students anyways, because most students struggle with making time to practice. Effective practice works on our musicianship in so many ways:
Does the thought of practicing fill you with dread or anxiety? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
Get ready to make practice more rewarding, and check out part 2!
Jimmy here! My desire is to help others grow musically - especially those who don't have access to resources. I'm a husband, father of three, graduate student, and music educator.