Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Inspiring to Practice

      So you or your child have started lessons but the excitement of the "new" is wearing off, just like new toys and video games at Christmas.  What do you do to keep practicing going? 

An Ongoing Journey. So let me just tell you upfront that there is no quick solution, no special words or gimmicks that will cause unceasing inspiration to practice an instrument. Learning how to practice and learning to practice consistently is an ongoing journey. So enjoy the journey and try different strategies to keep the journey going.

For those of you that are parents, you want your children to grow into mature adults, to have a disposition of the heart that knows what is important in life, keep doing these valuable things consistently, and enjoy them at the same time.  Recognizing and treasuring the great things in life is also what you want for yourself.  Part of this growth occurs when you and your family seek ways to be inspired, build discipline and move forward. Remember that the goal in music lessons is to gain a well-rounded life, which includes enjoying to play the instrument with feeling and excellence, but it is not just music lessons.

What I have noticed is that some students struggle with practicing because of the values they have adopted.  They are used to immediate gratification, whether it's the candy, the video games, the internet time they want, they get it quickly. They are used to quick results and so are you. This is not how it works with learning an instrument, or even a good career.  The lessons open you and your child up to the opportunity to grow in this area of working hard and awaiting the pay off, lots of good conversations on the importance of hard work, patience and perseverance, etc.

Alongside the conversations, here are some things to keep the inspiration going:

Music in the Air. With all the wonderful technology that is around you can find recordings on the instrument that you or your child is learning. It is also an opportunity to go to the library, where you can look at CD's and pick one out. Have music playing around often.

Home Recitals. Pick a day out of the week to perform for family and friends whatever pieces you know.  Even if it's only one piece, it will motivate you and/or your child to keep going.

Go to Concerts. There are lots of free concerts in town; check out the high schools and colleges. There is probably a youth orchestra that you can go watch.  Get out of the house and enjoy!

Group Playing. Invite friends over to play the pieces that you know together.  There are group classes available if you look around. The youth orchestra usually offers group classes and/or ensemble playing for various levels of experience.  Playing with others pushes you to keep going.

What ideas have you learned and come up with to keep you and your child motivated to keep playing?  What are your struggles to practicing at home?

                                                                    Copyright © 2013 Mircea & Daniyela Ionescu. All rights reserved.

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