Success is predictable. Have a goal, make a plan, execute. Simple to say, trickier to see through. The trick, all things being equal is the follow through, or in the parlance of our day: Grit.
But, it takes more than that. In no particular order here are some thoughts:
Are you practicing or just screwing around?
Practice: To earn, grow, or maintain proficiency on our instruments. My definition.
Accountability is the name of the game: at work, in the a marriage, in the practice room. As Simon Sinek says we are social animals, we don't want to violate the trust people have in us.
A short list of possibilities for musicians:
Start with a plan: S.M.A.R.T. Goals or SMART Goal Setting
T- Time bound
Gig: June 17th, 2017
Venue: Outdoor Street Festival, Toronto ON
Significance: My public rock drumming debut
Our set list has been chosen. We are polishing our performance every Wednesday night. I`ve engaged a rock drum teacher to coach me. We meet weekly. We are all experienced musicians, though each of us is bringing something new to the event. I`m a jazz/contemporary music guy, rock is something new for me. This will be fun. My friends are showing up, plus if it's a wonderful day, thousands of people will walk by and hear us. That`s relevant for sure.
I now know what to practice. Practice time is scheduled in my calendar. Pray for pleasant weather.
Jazz Camp July 2017 Kentucky
Music: Jazz Standards
Significance: My 5th and likely final showing at this wonderful event. Each past year I`ve moved up a level. The plan this year is to be able to play at the highest level at the camp. Many friends and piano students of mine will be there. My pride is on the line. I`m practicing everyday on my camp repertoire as listed in the handbook. I`m getting coaching from jazz great Terry Clarke. I`m jamming every week once or twice jazz standards in the Toronto area.
For both goals, I`ve created a 12-week practice regime that outlines repertoire, etudes, and specific tunes for transcription. I now know what to practice. Practice time is scheduled in my calendar.
I will be ready.
Practice tip of the week: Record everything
Remember when we were young and we had to put up with grumpy old men complaining that the Beatles ruined everything. Or, Disco, or Grunge, or synthesizers, or what-ever. Well Cats, we are now that age. How do we come across? Positive, open, excited, contributing? Or grumpy, complaining, and a drag to be around to anyone who still has their hair in its original colour?
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 5th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.