Thursday, March 21, 2013

Unrealistic Expectations

Why do we get so easily discouraged in the practice room?  Not long after those first notes are sounded we find a reason to think, "This just isn't working today. Nothing feels right." Likely we are having the wrong expectations! Maybe we need to rename our practice room "THE WRESTLING ROOM".

Most of us have three unrealistic expectations when it comes to practice sessions.  First, we expect that everything will be fun and painless from the first note to the last.  Hence we become depressed when we encounter any resistance.  Furthermore, we expect instant improvement.  We have little patience for long term technique-building.  Rather, we want it all now.

Finally, we fail to realize that high quality music making is a long term growth process, and making the instrument behave is a daily task. We see the goal, but we are not committed to follow the path. Wrestling is not blindly lunging or frantically flailing with intermittent bursts of bluster. We must enter the practice room anticipating and planning for a tough match, winnable yes, but not without a lot of wrestling.

(Hebrews 12:11 is a nice parallel. The writer was probably was not addressing trumpet players, but the principle is the same. "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.")

Expect to work hard and smart for mastery.

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