I'm ten years in as a drum student. I've thought long and hard on this subject. I've written extensively on this journey. More here: The aging musician.
In the meantime enjoy the following videos.
Video one suggest classic ideas around staying motivated.
The second video is done in the style of classic motivation videos that litter the internet, complete with a ridiculous up lifting soundtrack. (Any moment I expect Tony Robbins to bounce into frame.) It's fun, you'll laugh, and it will help you to stop reading this and get back to the piano bench.
Yesterday a young student played Bach’s invention in F for me. It went well, he had spent enough time practicing. But it lacked a certain “joie de vivre”. With few words from me, we had a listen to Andras Schiff’s performance on YouTube. Viola, his performance took on a completely new sense of maturity, fun, and liveliness. We all noticed the transformation, including his proud parents.
Next up was his new assignment for the week a review of Chopin Waltz in A minor. We had a listen to 2 contrasting performances on YouTube for guidance. He preferred a different performance than me. That’s ok, we have different sensibilities.
With our access to world class performances at our fingertips, this is often an untapped resource. Centuries ago CPE Bach himself said and I paraphrase, “listen to great musicians”.
A former student came by today of a lesson after a one-year absence. He played some stride piano. He sounded so much better than I remember. So, I start asking some questions about what he has been up to in the practice room.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted student and teacher of the drums.