Just start!

Practice is work, and work is rarely fun.

Who of us desperately looks forward to doing their income taxes, cleaning the toilet or paying bills?

I remember so many times procrastinating so as not to start writing an essay or studying for an exam and then generally becoming quite enthusiastic once the task was underway.  I even remember wondering why I had put off starting for so long.

Daily music practice can evoke these same feelings.

It is a chore, but there is such satisfaction in achieving goals and making progress.

Just start!

One of the reasons that I delay starting to practise, is that I have set an unrealistic goal.  If my minimum requirement is that I do 4 hours’ practice, then as the day begins to pass, I feel panic at how little time is left and how I probably won’t now reach that goal.

In the same way, if half an hour seems like too great an amount, then perhaps the student should divide the amount into two 15 minute sessions, separated by a reward.  Or maybe practise briefly in the morning then again at night.

What is achievable in the context of your household?  (How many other children have music practice to do?  How much energy does mum or dad have to enforce practice?  Do mum or dad have time to sit and supervise?)  Perhaps there are so many other before and after school activities that 15 minutes’ daily practice is all that is possible.  This is better than nothing!

But remember: small amounts of daily practice are more beneficial than to do an hour’s desperate practice the day before the lesson.