The process of learning an instrument is just that: a process. It takes time, focus, energy, and resources to learn how to play. I often lament that practicing one of the most biodegradable ways we can “work.” A good practice session one day will not show much results if it’s the only one in a month. As the famous Jascha Heifetz said, “If I don’t practice for one day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, my critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three, my audience knows it.” To keep up the consistent work required for learning the instrument, it takes a lot of discipline and patience, and most importantly, creativity.
If you keep doing the same thing every day, every month, every year, it is really easy to burn out. As one develops a long-standing relationship with their instrument, it is important to always be seeking new ways to branch out and yet stay engaged in music.
What is your favorite type of music? What is your other favorite hobby? It’s important to keep these in mind as you’re developing as a musician, because all of what you enjoy can be useful to your playing. When I was younger, there weren’t many rock/cross-over string players. Now, there are many string players that are finding their own voice doing just that. One of my favorite theatre directors told me that he loved playing hockey when he was younger, and applies the intensity and timing he learned from the game into directing his productions.
When you are making your statement, even if you’re playing someone else’s composition, this is when you’re becoming an artist.
A student of one of my colleagues: Rhett Price. See more links on his YouTube page.
©2013 Lydia Tang Swada