Friday, September 16, 2011


I really believe that if a student takes up a couple of things from a class of mine or a lesson and actually remembers to work on them, those things will yield results. Practice is a form of either conscious, semiconscious or unconscious repetitive acts which cause a habit to be formed in our automatic systems. Practice in this case really means repetition of an action or thought. These repeated acts can form and govern our behavior. In seeing this, one eventually can see the importance of conscious, deliberate planning in practice sessions. (And of course in the rest of life).

Much of what I say in lessons, coachings or classes, is trying to assist the person in becoming more aware of what they do at the point. Not just in playing mechanics but in attitudes and judgements. This is as important as any technical portion of a practice session because of how it can influence the whole session. I gave an example today of the potency of a person's focus on the first week of a new job. Then I brought up the thought that if everyone focused like that before coming to class and during class, how the difference in quality, attentiveness and progress would jump exponentially. If that was the only nugget they put into practice from what I say all year, it would be huge. Especially if it were used in their own practice rooms.

Some of these ideas will not be realized until the person is in a situation where they really see it's validity based on their own need. Until then, it will be put off for things that would appear to be more pressing or immediate. It truly is all part of the process. The interesting thing is when these things are tried and the results are stark ravingly obvious, you would think that would make a deep impression and the territory would be taken up. But... not generally. Timing is everything and someone has to be ready, willing and urgent to want to take certain things up. You can lead a horse to water but....

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