Notes... - June 2023
"Playing" Your Instrument
“Summertime” evokes playing and having fun. "Playing" a musical instrument should too – after all, that is the word we use to describe what you are doing!
At The Shedd we expect students to leave their lesson wanting to play their instrument at home. Too often going home and being required to practice implies sheer drudgery. (Our professionals are the ones who need to practice—we’ll be paying to hear their proficiency!) A student isn’t typically gearing up for a big performance, and, if they aren’t thoroughly enjoying making music, something is wrong. It’s a critical moment for an adult student or a parent of a younger one to examine why not. There are many changes that can be made to maintain that enthusiasm that was the reason they wanted to learn in the first place.
Granted, for a mature student, there indeed can be intellectual and emotional satisfaction from deliberate practicing – the reward of accomplishing something that was difficult, or even, as author Stephanie Judy noted simply observing “ourselves in the act of learning.” But these are more self-reflective and sophisticated enjoyable moments than the broader reasons that most people say they like making music.
As a Shedd music student, you will change over time – and as you do we want you to keep the playfulness and joy of making your own music first and foremost in your experience.