I was recently speaking with a flute student’s mom about practicing. The student is very good and does the work, but she “hates practicing” and the mom is worried. Out of frustration, the mom blurted out, “You can’t understand – you LOVE practicing!”
Wait. Stop. No I don’t. I HATE practicing.
Like many musicians and students of the art form, I am an extrovert. I love being around and working with lots of other people. I like to go to rehearsals and I like to perform. What I have never enjoyed is sitting alone in a room, working by myself on something difficult for seemingly endless amounts of time every day. It’s just awful and exhausting.
I’ve heard many people say that musicians get hooked on the practicing process. Well, for me, that’s just not true. I am, however, completely and totally and indisputably hooked on the RESULTS.
I heard a recording of Zig Ziglar talking about his weight loss during a motivational speech. In it, he said that he didn’t “pay the price” of doing the hard work, he “reaped the rewards” of his efforts and discipline. That is exactly how I feel about practicing. I put in the work and I reap the rewards. The only way to master anything is through hard work and discipline, neither of which is inherently fun. But, learn to do both well and the results will be worth all of the time, agony, and effort.
Yes, I HATE practicing. But, boy do I LOVE earning that applause!