Welcome to our first musical challenge of 2016!
We have just started back at school and music lessons for the year, and a lot of the problem can be regaining momentum.
I have often come back from a break and expected myself to do 3 hours’ practice on my first day back.
Sometimes I succeed.
But often it takes longer than one day to rebuild a habit.
So today, I encourage you to start slowly.
Sit down at the piano (or get out your instrument) and practise for 5 or 10 minutes. Or decide to practise during an ad break (if you’re allowed to watch TV during the week! I often have done this and become so absorbed that I never get back to the TV show.)
Don’t try to play the whole piece immediately, but break it into smaller portions – look at a page, or a line or one bar.
Start slowly, playing one hand at a time. Or if singing, don’t use words initially, but sing through on a vowel. If playing another instrument, perhaps play through all slurred, or all tongued.
Play slowly enough that you don’t need to pause to think or read the next note; always reading ahead as you go.
Repeat a few times, then move on to the next bar or line.
Each day add a little more, and keep working, and persevering, as you continue to learn more of each new piece and work towards mastering each one!