While we’re waiting for MPR to release today’s music lesson, we can catch up on the Dance Party we missed yesterday. What a fun way to start the week! Leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite classical piece in the lesson was and if you’re working on any dance music for your lesson. (This is almost a trick question – almost all music can be danced to, but which pieces in your lesson assignment were written specifically for dance?)
Monday morning also seems like a good time to lay out some expectations for practice under the absence of formal class schedules. So as an encouraging note to students, especially mine: homework is important, but so is lesson practice. Social distancing is an opportunity to catch up progress in music lessons that was delayed during the finish of the winter sports season. I’m very sorry that spring sports have been put on hold and extra curricular activities have been canceled because I know how much you enjoy them – but know that outside of dire circumstances (the kind where emergency calls are made and lessons are canceled) I will not be accepting “I didn’t have time” as the reason you didn’t practice. Every student, no matter their age or level of advancement, should have no problem practicing consistently for 30 minutes every day this week. (Notice I said practicing: this is intentional effort to improve your lesson material, not time spent experimenting with YouTube videos which is that is playing. Play is important, too, but needs to take secondary priority to practice.) I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes practice isn’t fun and doesn’t seem like it gets us very far very fast. But getting good at the basics is what makes music extra fun later; it is what lays the foundation for all those hard things we wish we could do now. Practice, even when it isn’t fun, is well worth the effort.
I don’t agree with Yoda’s insistence that the only options are “Do or do not – there is no try”. Try is how we learn. So keep trying students! If you are putting full effort into your practice you are going to be amazed by your progress when you compare where you are now to where you were in September!
You know where I am if you need me. You are always welcome to send me a text or a message on Google Hangouts if you get frustrated with part of your assignment, or you need just a little bit more to do. 🙂 I’m here to help.