March 23, 2016

It’s like brushing your teeth

Practicing is a lot like brushing your teeth.  It isn’t fun, but it is good for you.  And it’s important to do it every day! So here are some reasons that practicing everyday is important:
  • Practicing gives you an opportunity to develop a better relationship with your harp and with your music.  For at least 200 years (from the earliest credit I found, although lots of people are credited with saying it) musicians have been quoted as saying, “Miss one day of practice, I notice; miss two, the critics notice; miss three, the audience notices.” Each day of practice helps strengthen your relationship with your tools – the harp and the tunes.
  • Just like you need the repetition of brushing your teeth every day, your practice needs repetition.  The repetition is a good foundation for a structured practice that allows you to focus on the work you’re doing while you’re practicing.
  • When you brush your teeth each day, you tend to do it the same way every time.  This structure is good for your practice too.  Doing your practice basically the same way each time helps to assure you do a warm up, some exercises to build technique, music you are learning, play something for fun each day so you don't skip something or spend too much time but rather do a little of each activity of your practice each day.
  • That structure also helps you transition from the hustle-bustle of the rest of your day and settle into the good fit of your practice structure.
  • And just like brushing your teeth, your goal is to do a good job, not to be perfect.  In each practice you do work and develop – you don’t get to perfect…and that’s ok. It gives you a place to start the next day.
  • Practicing every day, like brushing your teeth each day, gives you a consistency that you can build on, day after day.

So, each day, before you brush your teeth, sit to your practice – it’s good for you, every day.

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