Nearly all students start with the best of intentions. Somewhere along the way things go off the rails. It is a discouraging moment. Life has gotten in the way. Or, you are bored. What to do?
Some solutions from my students:
Now for a story.
I have a 12-year-old student. She loves piano, she respects me, she is cheerful in class, but she hasn't been practicing for some time. I was thinking she was about to age out. (If you are an adult restarting or parent of former students you know what I'm speaking about.)
So last week I gave her an instrumental pop piano piece of Andrea Dow. Yesterday, at lessons she plays it through with only minor bumps. Hmmm... We next try some pop lead sheet exercises from the same composer. She plays them right away.
I say, "I need to speak with your mother". She looks worried. I say, "don't worry I want to say something nice about your work this week". Mom comes bounding in the room and before I can say a thing happily asks me what did I do last week in lessons? Her daughter has been practicing 45 minutes every day!
The question answers itself. As we age, we change, our motivations and musical preferences change. So, we need to change our repertoire to reignite desire and fun 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 percussionist and drum teacher.