What do you think of when you hear the word practice? How about the word homework? These are terms that are often associated with hard work and drudgery. Mom or dad look at you with a furrowed brow and say go
Practicing Music or Playing Music. Is there a difference?
What do you think of when you hear the word practice? How about the word homework? These are terms that are often associated with hard work and drudgery. Mom or dad look at you with a furrowed brow and say go and practice the piano! I don’t know about you but the thought of sitting down to “work” on my songs and scales doesn’t generally produce warm fuzzy feelings but…
Playing music is FUN! Actually performing and producing something that sounds great is FUN! Having people clap and compliment you on your performance is FUN! Making other people’s day a bit better because of your music is FUN!
Here’s the thing. We actually need to practice in order to improve in music but it doesn’t have to feel like work all the time!
It’s safe to assume that most people love playing their instrument but don’t love practicing their instrument. Earlier in this article I suggested that I don’t enjoy practicing (I play the fiddle and guitar). This isn’t exactly true and here’s why.
I am not always practicing when I’m practicing! I’m sure that’s a strange thing to read but hear me out.
I do sit down with my fiddle or guitar every day. I do dedicate a specific amount of time for “practice” but I have learned that I am actually playing for most of my practice time! I’m playing the songs I’m “working on”. I’m playing the scales. All that time I spend “working out” different sections of the music what I’m actually doing is playing music. Everybody knows that “playing is a lot more fun that “working”.
It really is about mind set and perception. We think of musicians as people who “play the piano” or “play the guitar”. There is a reason for that. Playing music is fun.
So. When you sit down to practice your instrument try to remember that it’s only hard work and practice if you make it that way. Just relax and play the piano, play the guitar, play the violin, play, play, and play some more!
Finally, here’s a helpful tip that I use to keep the fun levels up.
Begin your practice session with a song that you love. One that you are already good at and can perform well. Then focus on the material you need to cover. Then finish off with another song that you love to play. Simple but very effective.
Happy Practicing, I mean Playing!
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