How To Be A Successful Music Student

Let's face it, practicing can feel like a chore. Hey, practicing is fun!
Those statements are both true. Wait! What?! How is that possible?
To quote the famous Henry Ford, "If you think you can do a thing or
think you can't do a thing, your right!" It's all a matter of your
perspective on practicing.

Let's take two fictional students named John and Jim. They both wanted
to take piano lessons from their local piano teacher and started off
enthusiastically. After a few weeks habits of practicing formed.
John wanted to watch his favorite TV shows after school, and then it was
homework time, after dinner came bath time, and off the bed. Before going
to bed John thought, "Oh I didn't have time to practice today. That's ok.
I will practice right when I get home tomorrow after school." The following
day John's dad got into a minor car accident after picking up John from school. 
"No time to practice today, but that's ok. I'm going to practice over the weekend,"
John says to himself confidently. On Saturday John went to the movies with
his friends. By the time he got back home from a fun time at the movies,
he remembered to practice. Fifteen minutes later, he went to ride his bike with
his buddies outside in the warm, sunny afternoon. Sunday came and went with
no practice since it was family fun day. By the time John came to his next lesson,
he had set out to practice, but only practiced fifteen minutes for the entire week.

Jim was different. Jim was a studious person. He had a practice schedule
clearly planned out for the week. Fifteen minutes every day after doing his
homework and thirty minutes on Saturdays. He looked forward to learning
his new songs. By the end of the week he could play each song confidently
and was looking forward to his lesson in a few days. When he came to his
lesson he played through his pieces very well, and after a few minor fingering
adjustments he was easily able to start his new songs for the week. With his
practice routine in place and his confidence in playing his pieces, Jim looked
forward to practicing each day.

Jim made a successful practice plan. He simply made each day a success.
Put them together back to back and he had a string of successes. He was
FULL of Success or successful.

How do you approach practicing? What systems do you have to make sure
you are a successful music student? What do you need to do to make sure
you stay on track?

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