I can think of 20 other things I’d rather be doing than practicing. Why? Because if it’s done right, it is one of the most difficult things to do in a day. Who really wants to put themselves through that?
In order to really get good at something, I put myself through the torture of “focused practice”.
It’s not fun, but it works.
Motivation in Music Practice
The honest truth about motivation is that you will find it after you get yourself started practicing. You will never feel completely motivated before your session.
Once you start doing, the motivation will follow.
While you are practicing, here’s an idea that may help pull you into your next practice event a little quicker and easier.
Create a Daily Practice Journal
Get yourself a small notebook and record your thoughts, results, specific things that need work, etc. after each practice session.
This technique is used by tennis champion, Serena Williams, and former World Series MVP, Curt Schilling.
The rapper, Eminem, and famous choreographer, Twyla Tharp, use a slightly different method. They like to fill shoeboxes full of their thoughts and ideas written on scrap paper.
It doesn’t matter how you go about doing this. What matters is that you are writing things down and reflecting on it.
What to Write
You can decide what things are most helpful to you for recording and reflecting upon. Here are 5 ideas to get you started:
1) Results from today.
2) Ideas for tomorrow.
3) Goals for next week.
4) What worked and what didn’t.
5) Identify a problem as specifically as possible. List ideas for solving the problem.
Purpose of Writing it Down
When you write anything down, it helps you to get clarity. Your notebook or shoebox works like a map helping you navigate (and ultimately bring focus) to the very next thing you need to do.
If you are unsure of what to work on next, open up your notebook and see what thoughts have been recorded in the past few days or weeks.
Writing stuff down also keeps you from having to hold it in your head. Give your brain a break and let go of it on paper.
This not only tells you what to do in the future, but it will give you a pull to want to practice again knowing exactly what you intend to work on next time.