"Should you be practicing right now?"
Wondering when a good time to practice is? Here's your answer. ;)
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Practice is vital to learning and improving. It's important for brand new beginners, and it's important for musicians who have been making music for 50 years. If we want to get better, we need practice!
Sometimes, this is a hard one to impress upon my students, especially younger kids. It can be difficult to track your own growth on your musical journey since it is a slow build that happens over time. It might feel slow enough that the days mostly blend together and you don't notice how much better you're becoming. When I was first learning guitar, I would get frustrated because it hurt my fingers, but I still couldn't play like I wanted to. One day my dad told me to flip my guitar around, so I was holding it under my left arm instead of my right, and then see how much I could play that way. It was all upside down, and my hands felt so uncoordinated! His point was that's the place every single musician starts: everything is foreign, and our hands don't have the coordination to play yet. We learn the coordination, hand movements, notes, chords... it all becomes muscle memory!
But, at first, for a while, that seems so far off, particularly to little kids who don't see the value or reward in practicing now.
Here is the reward: it gets better. You get better. Music will start to feel like a home, like something you can do in your sleep.
And even then, we still need practice! Keep on getting better, fellow artists!