Trying to practice the violin daily? Do this instead!
Warning: tough love!
Do you try to sit on a chair? You actually sit on it… or not. Trying does not exist in the real world. It exists in your head and it can sabotage you to create what you want in your life.
For my violin students the most difficult thing is practicing daily, certainly for busy adults who are perhaps not used to it from a young age.
‘Tell me how I have to practice daily, because I’ve started and restarted many times now’ a student asked me. It’s very simple (but not easy): do it… or don’t.
‘I try to practice everyday’. No, you either practice daily or you don’t. Both is ok. With the last you just don’t learn as fast… or you lose motivation and stop. That can be a decision. There are many other ways to enjoy music. Just let it be your choice to commit or not.
‘I try to practice, but I’m tired after work.’ You either practice being tired and maybe gaining fresh energy from it as you go or you go and sit to watch a movie. If you do the last, you’re not trying: you’re doing something entirely different.
‘I try to practice with my kids around.’ I don’t try that. I do it. My kids know that and are used to it. I practiced a ton when they were in the womb (hello back pain), so they recognize it as soothing womb sounds and now: I can practice whenever I want. Yes, I help them with their little violins in between, play a short game, change diapers, give them a cuddle, something to drink or a snack… but after that I go back to my practice again… and again… and again…
You can think that I’m distracted. In contrary: leaving that difficult run and getting back to it again and again with a fresh mind and rested muscles gets you faster progress than practicing it in one go.
Don’t use your kids as an excuse: most parents who don’t reach their goals, also didn’t before they had kids. You’re the adult here. Don’t shove guilt down their throats. It’s unhealthy and unfair.
‘I’d like to have an online business and work from home like you, but it doesn’t work for me’. Really? Have you tried posting 3 videos a week to a Youtube channel for a couple years, optimizing them, learning all about editing, filming, video SEO and online marketing and purposefully building and serving an audience before trying to sell something? I still have to meet someone who did all that and didn’t get results.
‘I wish I was so talented on the violin as you’. Perhaps… but you certainly don’t wish to put in the work, time, money and other sacrifices I’ve done to nurture that talent that you might have the same of.
As you set your goals or fill out your calendar for this week, don’t put anything in there that you’ll try.
What’s ONE thing that you can truly commit to, that’s truly meaningful to you?
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Love this! Thank you!!!
Thanks for reading!
Thank you, Mathilde 🙂
Thanks for posting! I’m a busy mom of 8 who took violin lessons for about 3 years when I was a teenager. I had always wanted to start taking lessons again but gave excuses that I was so busy already. Well, I am almost 40 and I figured, if I don’t do it now, I will never do it. So I started again 8 months ago. I have had to re-learn a lot it techniques but in spite of this, I am glad that I am back at it. Finding time and energy is a struggle. But thanks for all the good reminders. It encourages me to keep going and also do a few things differently.
Wow, Emilie, big respect that you’re starting the violin again with 8 kids around you! Are they playing music too? For me it also helps that I have little violins for my kids and help them to play in between, so it’s something we do together and they’re engaged as well.
Returning to violin at 51 after playing for a year in 3rd/4th grade. So after more than 40 years from my last stoke as a child. Thank you for this site, this course, the videos and all of your efforts.
Wonderful, David, welcome back!