By: Ben Fraser
We all want to reach our full potential and become the best musicians we can be. To do this, there is one thing we all must do throughout our musical career. Practice. Although at times it seems daunting and tedious, it is a necessary part of our development as musicians. Like many other things in life, the most difficult part of the process is committing ourselves to the process. Once we are practicing, it’s not so bad. In fact, it can be very enjoyable, rewarding, and even therapeutic!
Make practice fun! Start off with your favorite music. Yes, scales, chords, and arpeggios are important, but not if it discourages you from practicing. Begin with something that you enjoy and then mix in some technique building exercises. Also, pick some repertoire that you are interested in. Maybe something from your favorite artist, movie or TV show. Possibly just a song that you can’t get out of your head. Share your interests with your music teacher! There is most likely music associated with them.
Practice makes lessons better and more productive. When your teacher gives you something to work on at home, try to learn all the notes on your own. This way, you can use the lesson to work on more important things like musicality, dynamics, and tempo. It is also a great feeling to come in to a lesson prepared and ready to show your instructor what you have worked on. This leads to improved performances and more opportunities to play music!
Another advantage of practicing is how it calms and centers you. It can be a great form of meditation. When practicing, it becomes easy to let all your worries and stresses fall away. Making a habit of it not only helps with discipline and focus, but it helps with relaxation and refreshment of thoughts. After a practice session, there is a good chance you will have a clear mind and your mood will be greatly improved.
Set some time aside for practice and realize how much of a positive impact it has! Take advantage of how great it makes you feel and what it can help you accomplish.