If you’ve studied music for any considerable length of time, you’re familiar with the guilt that comes from missing a day of practice. You understand that consistent daily practice brings the best results. You want to get better, but you just haven’t made practice a habit, or maybe you have, but for whatever reason that habit broke down for a day.
If you have to force yourself to practice everyday, you’re doing it wrong. Actually practicing should be just as simple as brushing your teeth. If you’re doing it right, there will be times when you end up in the practice room without even realizing you went there. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?
This is possible by understanding habits. We only have so much willpower throughout our day. If you have to will yourself to practice everyday, there will be many days you just don’t.
In order to be a successful musician you must understand what habits are, and how to create them. You’ll then be ready to learn an instrument, and learn it well.
Pop music concerts are intense. Most of the time the audience is standing and dancing. Everyone is singing, being loud, and having a great time. There are usually intense visual effects, and the music is blaring. The pop music industry has figured something out that classical music sometimes has a difficult time with. That is that musical entertainment doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t, rely completely on the merits of the music itself.
There is more to a performance than just the music.
You’re taking music lessons, and you think that’s all there is to it huh? Hopefully you’ve figured out by now that lessons don’t do much on their own. You need practice too! But there is one more step to music lessons that can’t be ignored. Yes, it’s the performance. Whether you are playing for your friends or family, or a large group of strangers, music is meant to be heard.
Learning to make incredible music is just not as rewarding if you don’t share it. Imagine learning to paint, but you decide no one can ever see your painting. That’s what it’s like to never want to participate in a recital or performance.
Beyond the obvious need to share your talent, there are many other reasons why it’s important to perform regularly.
One common ailment that musicians go through is “not good enough”-ism. For non musicians this may be a new concept, as the media portrays most famous musicians as cocky and elitist. Although that definitely exists, there are quite a few musicians that have a problem accepting praise and with positive self-talk. Constant personal attacks on yourself is not humility.
Negative self-talk will hurt your self-esteem, make you look weak, hurt your musicianship, and even increase the frequency of mistakes. So why do you do it? You likely talk to yourself much worse than you would talk to a friend. If you learn how to be your own best friend, you’ll be a happier and better musician.
I can give public speeches, perform in groups, and give many other kinds of public performances, but a solo piano performance has always been something I’ve struggled with. When I started out in music I was a little nervous to let people know that I was afraid to perform. I wanted to keep it to […]
I have an embarrassing confession to make. My hands sweat. They sweat a lot. They sweat more when I’m performing, but it can even make practice difficult. The more I think about it the more they sweat. I’m a pianist, and trying to stay on the keys and play accurately is next to impossible when I have hands that are literally dripping in sweat.
It’s been years since I had to worry about this though because I’ve found some techniques that have really changed my musical life. That’s not an exaggeration. Playing piano well for me was nearly impossible. If you’re struggling with this, even on a smaller scale, you’re probably looking desperately for solutions. You’ve found them.
Music is not learned in lessons. Music is learned alone with your instrument. Lessons are just meant to guide your practice time. They are meant to help you understand what you should be practicing and how. If practice is so important, how much of should you be doing?
Anyone who has spent any time practicing an instrument is familiar with the feeling of not getting anything done. This doesn’t have to apply only to music practice. You can be working on a task, but never actually get anywhere.
Real progress comes from daily focused attention and deliberate practice. If we are to get better at doing something, in this case music, we can’t just say “I touched my instrument today, so I did my part.” You won’t learn just by doing. You must have a plan and then execute on that plan consistently to see results.
Is it hard? Yeah, it’s pretty hard. Just like anything else, focusing is a learned skill. The more that you study and practice it, the better you’ll get at it. Once you learn to focus, you’ll see progress. Progress will help you enjoy your practice more and more.
Ready to get more done than you ever have before? Ready to become that amazing musician you’ve always wanted to be? Let’s get started.
Within 2 to 3 years of starting piano lessons 80% of children quit. Were you one of the quitters? You’ve always wanted to play piano, and you always regret quitting lessons as a kid? You’re not alone. You don’t hear this phrase a lot “I really regret learning the piano.” (or any other instrument). Why? Because it’s a rewarding, fun, relaxing, and just overall a fantastic skill to have! So why do so many people quit? Let’s break it down.
A common question when starting piano lessons is a keyboard sufficient for learning? Usually yes, an electric keyboard can be used as a substitute for an actual acoustic piano. But the better answer will take a little more analysis into what your plans are for lessons, and what kind of keyboard you have. Keyboard Features […]