I won't make any New Year's resolutions this year, but I will review why I signed up for drum and guitar lessons in the first place.
Success, I've been told, is a result of our habits, and our habits are the consequence of our actions. Actions come from our values. Values are bred into us. So, resolutions in conflict with our values are doomed. But habits created considering our values have a chance.
Postscript February 2023. I made a few resolutions this year. These resolutions were created after reflection and preparation. I'll see how it goes.
Updated Feb 2023
Step one: Review your motives that lead you to music study.
Step two: Do a time audit for a week. How much of your time was used to surf, watch TV, and other non-productive activities? My guess is reducing these activities by 20% would free up lots of time to practice.
Step three: Parents, consider clicking on the photo above. It links to an interesting article on internet use and teen behavior. The average teen uses 4.5 hours a day to surf.
“Private Practice Determines Public Performance” Carl Allen, December 2011 issue
of Downbeat Magazine
“Start with the end in Mind” Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Tips on Practicing
I just finished reading Carl Allen’s article in the current issue of Downbeat magazine. Carl reviews his philosophy of drumming. Most of it is applicable to piano and guitar as well.
Inspired, I offer this.
We play like we practice, so…
1. Practice mentally and emotionally engaged.
2. Remember, it must be in the so-called muscle memory to be secure.
3. Practice slowly, listen deeply, be patient, and pay attention to the minute details of the score: articulations, dynamics, phrasing, tone, etc.
4. Start slowly, the correct tempo will come later.
5. Imagine you must play publicly in a week. Then tackle the annoying bits first. :-)
Updated Feb 2023
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 percussionist and drum teacher.