Choose one of the following:
Yes these are all real answers I have heard and are in the category of what I call, “excusable.”
But here’s some that I find to be “in-excusable.”
“Busy? Doing what?”
“Well I have soccer practice and science club and chess club and then language class and then I was just too tired.”
So this is when I go on a lecture about:
This is perhaps the number one question I hear from my parents of students (and other teachers too.)
Over the years, I have became conscious of creating powerful habits that make me more effective without effort or thinking about it. The key is a morning routine. My routine allows me to get so many things done that if they weren’t part of a habitual process, would never happen.
For example, before I was a home-based music teacher, cleaning the house was such a chore and something I avoided at all costs! After I started having clients coming to the house daily, I had to change this.
I do my cleaning as part of my morning routine while listening to my favorite podcasts on headphones. I don’t think about it - it just happens and having a clean and clutter-free space does wonders for your mind as well.
Perhaps we can apply this to the task of practicing music. By making practice part of a habitual process, it takes away the effort. It becomes just like brushing your teeth in the morning. You just do it.
I try to have all my students set a time of day that is “practice time” every single day even if it’s just 5 minutes. If you devote 5 minutes on practicing what is new and challenging every single day, you will make progress at exponential rates that will astound you!
It could be the 5 minutes before breakfast, or right after school, or before dinner or before bed. By baking it into a set schedule, it becomes habitual. It only takes about 3 weeks to really set a habit in place for life.
I've found this one idea of making practice routine has been the biggest help of all. Kids who were struggling and "not getting it" all of a sudden were making steady progress. Also parents who fear being too disciplinarian and "tiger-mom" can now relax and say, just work on this 2 measures for 5 minutes - do it 5 times or 10 times or whatever.
Try this in your studio and see what happens. I'm eager to hear your experiences too so please share in the comments below.
Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character. - Dr. Stephen Covey - 7 Habits Of Highly Successful People