Practice What You Preach

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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?”

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2 Replies to “Practice What You Preach”

  1. I've been trying to improve in this area too. I've found that when my own children see me practicing they are more likely to practice too, so for my last studio practice contest, I tracked my own progress alongside my students and some of them outdid me by far.

  2. I have been thnking of doing a practice incentive/competition with who can practice the most or out practice the teacher, I'm just not sure how to go about it yet. I'm glad to hear you have done something like that. I'll have to give it a try.

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