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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?”