Practice What You Preach

Do you find yourself telling your students to practice but you don’t practice yourself?  Do you set an example and practice what you preach?

Recently I have been thinking about all my students and my requirements for them.  I set high expectations, because I believe that if you expect little you receive little in return.  I also believe it is good to give my students a challenge, remembering of course their abilities and what they can handle.  A couple of months ago the thought came to my mind, am I practicing what I preach?  I require them to practice 6 days a week, but do I practice 6 days a week?  Do I make time to play the piano or learn something new and better my skills?  Because I want to be a good example for my students, I decided to make a goal to practice not only 6 days a week, but every single day.  Even if it is only a minute or two.

Now I know sometimes being a teacher I get so busy preparing lessons, teaching, or doing other things that I don’t practice myself.  (Does that sound familiar?)  But if life were so busy for my students that they couldn’t practice, would that be okay?  Absolutely not!  So I decided to reevaluate my priorities and live more by example.

I am happy to say that I haven’t missed a day of practice in almost 2 months.  It isn’t easy because like I said before, life does get busy.  The older we get it seems life just gets full of things to do, and I always seem to have a list of things I want to accomplish.  But if I make it my priority to set the example and always push myself to better my skills, then I do have time everyday.  I might not have hours, and some days go better than others, but making the goal and putting in the time has made me a better musician.  And that is what we want to encourage in our students, right?  So I challenge you to ask yourself, “Do I practice what I preach?”