Monday motivation

The following is from a blog post by Samantha Coates.  Over the next 5 Mondays, I’ll post her sport / music analogies

Making a practice routine

Most children who take up piano will practice because their parents insist on it. I have done many other blog posts about how best to form a good practice routine. But what happens when the adult is in charge of their own practice?

Many mature age students, who are either taking up piano for the first time or returning to piano after many years’ break, think of it as an intellectual pursuit. They are taking up music – music! – and have a clear idea in their heads of what and how they would like to play, taking much pleasure in the thought of pursuing this musical goal.

Then real life sets in… busy days looking after family… practice only happens once a week or so, if that… and the frustration of not being able to play sets in. A sporting analogy is helpful here, one of personal training:

Imagine you want to run the half-marathon next year, but have not done any running since you were a kid. (Insert ‘play Fur Elise’ where it says ‘run the half marathon’). You engage a personal trainer, paying them each week to have a one-on-one session with you. What is that trainer going to expect you to do in between these sessions? Run. Run every day, a little more each time. Now, if you don’t ever manage to squeeze this running practice into your week, you would not get any fitter and would also not expect to gain much from the sessions with the trainer.


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