A willingness to engage in challenges outside of our ability level and to embrace making mistakes can help adults to learn as efficiently as young children. Read more on ‘The Strad’
It has been a number of years since I first wrote about “random practice” for Noa Kageyama’s Bulletproof Musician Blog. Since then, I have been excited to see the discussion, experimenting, and even controversy that has resulted.
Once we are honest with ourselves that, just like yesterday and today, there are going to be temptations tomorrow, we can use Ulysses contracts to pre-commit to specific actions that are in line with our goals. These plans need to be in place before we want to do the work…
When we go to bed at night, we seem to be the best versions of ourselves. As we think forward to tomorrow, our great intentions are clear. We will wake up early, exercise, practice for many hours, finish that large project on our to-do list, clean the house, and catch up on all of our email. It seems easy to imagine that we will accomplish more work in one day than we have ever accomplished before.
It is no secret that musicians are struggling with motivation right now. I have been hearing this week after week from musicians around the world as we experience the global pandemic and a long overdue reckoning with systemic racism in our communities and institutions. The gulf between the world we know and the world we want is immense.
When it comes to practicing, we often think in terms of time: How many hours are necessary to achieve optimal progress? While this is a valid concern, a more important question is how we can make each hour count. What is the most efficient way to work so that what is practiced today actually sticks tomorrow? There is nothing more frustrating than spending a day hard at work only to return the next day at the starting line.