Wednesday, May 21, 2014
It's summer vacation for many now.
Lots of time for musicians, young and old, to practice and grow musically.
This issue became a soapbox for me when, the summer break after my first year of teaching college music majors, one of them posted on social media the question:
"Is it wrong that I have been out of school for over a month and I have not touched a piano?"
I wanted to scream through the computer: YESSSSS!!!
After all, this student was supposed to be a piano performance major. I can not imagine being a performance major and NOT practicing for a week, much less a month.
I did not say anything for this was not one of my studio students so I just tucked her comment away in my soapbox.
In the past week I have had several conversations with young musicians about the importance of practicing during the summer break.
I want my students to continue the skills developed this past school year and even improve over the summer.
One, a college music major who I happen to follow on the phenomenon which is called Twitter even though I do not know her, tweeted (what one does on Twitter), that she was out of school therefore she didn't have to practice.
I responded - as all good music professors should - and she retorted that I had misunderstood her tone.
[Well, I will admit that the typed word, though revealing, does not reveal one's tone of voice very well. Many a conflict has arisen due to misreading/assuming the tone of a written communication.]
Anyway, I quickly apologized and explained myself.
After several exchanges, each one becoming less and less heated, she, this mysterious music major from some university in the USA, exclaimed that I was "Wonderful!"
A few moments later I received the notification that she had "followed" me.
We have since exchanged several encouraging tweets. :)
It is my hope that all my students practice during their summer break.
It is my hope that my music colleagues practice during the summer break.
Yes, we often have to schedule these practice sessions.
No, we don't always want to do it.
But, the end result will be worth it all.
Do I practice what I preach?
Today I've practice piano and went to band rehearsal.
What have you done today?