Be kind to yourself


I have had several students in tears recently and it wasn’t my doing!

These children were so frustrated with themselves that they were furious at not having reached a certain goal in an impossible amount of time.

It’s interesting because I am a perfectionist, but I need to start modelling to my students that the journey is also important.  It has taken me years to appreciate the journey, and to realise the important place that it has in the formation of a performance.

I am writing this blog to encourage and equip students in practising effectively, but I also need students to know that while practise does succeed, it still takes time.

The students who have been frustrated have been practising and achieving small goals, but have had expectations out of measure with their level of experience or length of tuition.

I’ve had experiences where I might be practising for 2 or 3 hours daily for months, and not much progress appears to be occurring, but then, with perseverance, there is a breakthrough and the piece goes to another level.  I have had to learn to be gentle with myself and sometimes my expectations need to be adjusted.  Sometimes, I just need a day off!  (Although I am not sure that this is such a problem for children who do 10 minutes’ practice a day!)

As I have said before, anything worthwhile does take time and effort.  However, as part of this process, we do need to learn to be kind to ourselves and as I said last month, celebrate the wins along the way.  Even if the journey takes longer than we might expect, I do not think that anything is wasted, but can be part of the learning process and can enrich the final product.