Work Ethic

1502, 2015

Finding Motivation to Practice

By |February 15, 2015|Expectations, Motivation, Music School, Practicing, Preparing to Perform, Work Ethic|

Are you having one of those days? Are you looking for every possible reason why you don’t actually have to practice today. I can relate. Sometimes the biggest challenge is just finding the motivation to practice. So what do we do when we don’t feel like practicing?

1) Just start

If you just start practicing, you’ll often notice that you want to finish what you’ve begun. Once you’ve started, it’s much easier to keep practicing longer.

2) Plan to do it first thing in the morning

Having a specific plan for when you practice will help. Often doing it first thing in the morning […]

2311, 2014

Expectations and Why They’re Such a Big Deal

By |November 23, 2014|Expectations, Practicing, Teaching, Work Ethic|

It’s amazing how expectations affect us! If I expect someone to invite me to something, I’m deeply hurt when he or she doesn’t. If I don’t, I’m elated to receive an invitation. If I expect something of myself, I’m frustrated when I can’t fulfill it. If people I care about expect things of me, I’m inspired to please them. Expectations are powerful! We should consider how to use them as tools in our music studies.

Using Expectations as a Student

As a student, setting expectations for ourselves is extremely beneficial. How long and how often do you expect yourself to practice? This […]

911, 2014

Work Ethic: The Impact of Another Culture on My Music Education

By |November 9, 2014|Expectations, Melody's Story, Practicing, Work Ethic|

My mom grew up in a charismatic Christian family in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She moved to the United States to marry my dad, who grew up in a Mennonite family in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. This interesting combination created a unique family culture. I grew up in Ithaca, New York. I was affected by the American culture around me, my mom’s Argentinian culture, and most of all our faith in Jesus. My mom and dad, but my mom especially, instilled in their kids the priority of work, teaching diligence and responsibility. I am so thankful!

When I started piano lessons, my teacher told […]

1210, 2014

5 Skills to Develop Before Music School

By |October 12, 2014|Melody's Story, Music School, Practicing, Teaching, Work Ethic|

I’ve been blessed with incredible piano teachers that have prepared me wonderfully for music school. But music is such a huge field, and there’s only so much you can cover in 30 minutes or even 1 hour per week. Teachers must prioritize and decide how to best use the small amounts of time they have. I’ve faced this challenge weekly for years, and still haven’t figured it out. Obviously, as private instrument teachers, the main goal is to teach performance of the instrument. We want to work on pieces with our students. Most piano teachers also find it incredibly important […]

1409, 2014

Practice vs. Play: The Constant Struggle For Efficient Practice

By |September 14, 2014|Music School, Practicing, Teaching, Work Ethic|

My violinist friend and her pianist sister finish playing a short piece for their family’s friends. Making music together is so much fun! “It must be so wonderful having kids who play instruments!” their guests tell my friends’ parents. Their parents look at each other, thinking, “This isn’t what they sound like for hours every day . . . there’s a big difference between playing and practicing.” At least there should be.

Learning to Practice
Have you ever considered that you or your students need to learn to practice? We want to learn to perform, of course, but in order to do […]