I heard this at least 4 times from different students last week in response to my often-asked question, ” How did practice go?”
It didn’t dawn on me at first. One student saying this isn’t out of the ordinary. But as several students shrugged and shared the same sentiment, it hit me. We live in the average, the everyday, the normal.
Of course, life will bring BIG moments. But there is a popular phrase floating around the internet that I have seen often.
“Enjoy the little things in life. For one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.”
We often spend much of our lives waiting for the big moment, big breakthrough, or big sign pointing in a certain direction. We crave emotional moments, and watch movies where the climax prepares us to look for that same big, important, and defining moment in our lives.
And somewhere in the middle of it all, we start expecting everything in life to consistently be either a really high experience or a really low one.
But this week, it was an “average” practice week. And you know what? That’s okay.
My students will not have major break throughs every week. They also won’t last very long if they consistently have hard and “in the trenches” experiences week after week. Life has the those moments. So will practice. But neither life nor practice will have these moments constantly.
So how should we respond when it’s been an average-kind-of-practice week?
Cheer them on. Sympathize with them. And remind your student that an average practice week on top of an average practice week on top of another average practice week is what will lead to them becoming a developed musician. You have the chance to grow a stick-with-it attitude that will serve your students throughout all of life.
We celebrate when we have the high weeks. We dig together through the trenches of the low weeks. And we help each other remember that average is not bad. But it’s committing to practice week after week, no matter how it “feels”, that will yield the results your students are looking for.
This week my challenge to you is to enjoy the little things. Celebrate the little moments of practice. Congratulate your students for sticking with the everyday and seemingly mundane. One day you’ll look back and realize that all of it was big. That your student is a musician, and it was all worth it.