What is a practice?
For musicians, practice is a way of life – a constant companion on our musical journey. Amongst creative colleagues, I’ve noticed the same obstacles and difficulties when it comes to practice. Whether it’s yoga, dance, hitting the gym, or meditation all cultivated practices seem to generate the same issues.
The first step towards smooth sailing is a clear understanding of what we’re engaging.
So: what exactly is a practice?
Practice – n. The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use.
Practice is inherently a personal process.
A musician practices certain scales or patterns, or trains their listening in private. A dancer might practice foot positions, series of movements, or improvisation. A writer will wake up every morning and hit her writing desk for an hour, putting down on paper whatever comes into her head.
For performers, it’s important to distinguish between rehearsal and practice. A rehearsal is a preparation for a performance of some sort, whereas a practice is solitary, regular, and ongoing in your life.
Most of us have some sort of practice in our lives – perhaps artistic or express, perhaps fitness-oriented or recreational. Whatever your practice, it’s likely that, at some point in your journey, you’ve encountered some of these difficulties:
Lack of focus
Developing bad habits
Lack of motivation
Despite the oft-heard platitude, practice does not make perfect – it makes permanent! It’s important for us to be mindful of what we’re reinforcing through practice.
So, take some time to define your practice and create something that is both sustainable and full of personal growth. These questions were written to inspire balance, sustainability, and growth in your practice.
So let’s dig into them, and may your practice be lasting, nurturing, and fun!