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Motivation for Practice

Hi to all Music Lovers and especially Lovers of the Voice!

The most important recipe for confidence with whatever instrument

you have chosen is to build a steady relationship with it. Look at it as a friendship.

Would you trust a friend who calls you sometimes with a lot of love

but then is not available when you need her/him? No. Of course not.

The same with your voice or your instrument. If you stand on stage and

you have turned your practice sessions into daily celebrations then you will feel

confident. What do I mean by that?

I mean treat yourself and your instrument like a meeting with a good friend.

Keep checking what makes the meeting work? What is needed at that moment?

Do you need to be gentle and patient or do you need to challenge yourself a little

and if so do you enjoy it? Keep changing your approach as if you would when you meet your

friend. Your friend might be happy in one meeting and sad in another.

Would you not adjust to her/his mood? Yes, you would try to.

The same here. Love yourself when you practice. Encourage yourself.

Don't beat up on yourself.

I have several students who told me in the first lesson: "I have trouble with discipline.

I always give up at a certain point. I'm just not disciplined!"

What I find in most cases is that those students are the ones who have the highest

expectations for themselves. So high they cannot possibly live up to them.

They start with the best intentions to make it THIS time. And they live the perfect life of discipline

for about a month and then they rebel. I would too.

I look at it like this: life is energy that is constantly moving. Discipline doesn't mean you put yourself in a prison cell. It means that you nurture a friendship between yourself and your instrument. If you look at it like that then it is easier to find new tricks to get yourself excited about

that special practice time. Be creative!! Do you love a candle when you practice in the evening?

Do you love to make time for a fun activity and practice for an hour before you get to go out?

Or why not starting by lying on the floor and relaxing? What is your favorite exercise? Can you start with that? Or simply divert to rhythm exercises and sight reading and open your throat that way. Whatever it is that gets you over the first five minutes will be worth it. Usually, after the first 5m, you are over the hurdle and you will enjoy your practice time. Here is what I highly recommend: Set yourself a goal for at least 3 days. Something you can accomplish. Don't start something new every time. Progress, even a small step forward, is the best way to motivate yourself to practice with joy. Once you see progress half the battle is won. So stick to your small goal until it is accomplished but be creative in the way you START your practice. Treat yourself like you would treat a child. Listen to your belly. What feels good? Is there a slight excitement when you think of running the scales and feeling your fingers going up and down on the piano? Or maybe you are tense and tired from work and all you can do is to lie on the floor and listen to your favorite

you tube clip of the song you are working on. When you do that relax your breathing and your face muscles and really listen. And there you are. Diving into the music and before you know it your daily worries fall away and you would like to spend time with your good friend: MUSIC

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