Productiveness and Practice

Image from oddquartet.com – print it out and stick it on things! You know you want to…

Practising: I am well aware that I need to do it, but I have a tendency to either get distracted by other things, or lapse for weeks if I don’t have performance to prepare for.

But, as I mentioned in my post the other week I’ve recently started taking piano lessons again. It’s been going pretty well so far – in four (five?) lessons I have three pieces that are starting to come together and I’m pleasantly surprised how quickly things are coming back to me. I’m pleased that I’m remembering how to read music again (which I haven’t done seriously since I left university… in 2004). But the main thing that starting lessons has given me – something to practise for every week.

My previous experience of piano lessons has been draconian attitudes and pressure to pass exams*, so it’s been a really refreshing experience to go to a teacher who told me on my first lesson ‘yeah, if you can get 15-30 minutes in 4 or 5 time a week, you’ll see some improvement’. And I am.

What I’ve tried to do these past few weeks is to keep track of how long I have practised each day, and record it on a prettily coloured chart to keep myself accountable. I’ve included rows for guitar and vocal practise too… but to be honest, once I’ve worked through my piano practise, picking up the guitar feels like a treat and not a chore.

So, lately I’ve been playing a lot more and this is an excellent thing: time spent playing is never time wasted. However, I am starting to feel like I’ve actually been less productive. I don’t have anything physical to show for my work. Despite spending way more time in the music room, I haven’t progressed further on my never-ending album, nor have I written much new material or worked on the bits hubby asked me to do for the relaunch of the radio show.

I can’t help but think that I could do with a few more hours in the day to fit everything in.

Or maybe I just need to get more organised…

*I had several teachers growing up, but the two that I had most of my lessons with were also the two that I feared the most… The first scarred me emotionally for life and made me hate everything to do with playing (which explains why I quit several times). The second made me work really hard and actually got me through grade 5 with merit. I have a lot to thank her for, even if she did terrify the young me.

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Filed under Randomness and Musings, Techniques, Tips and Advice for Musicians

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