How do you...prepare for practicing?
Becoming aware of what our thoughts and feelings are before we head into a practice session can make all the difference in the world in terms of how productive our practicing is.
This isn't a common topic that comes up, but it should be.
We talk a lot about preparedness when it comes to storms, taking tests, interviewing for a job, and other things like that.
But there's another kind of preparation we do before we perform many tasks; and that is what is happening in our thoughts and emotions as we approach a specific activity.
Both of these experiences stir a lot of emotional activity before the event even happens. One is more on the negative side and the other is more on the positive side.
Take this concept now, to your piano practicing. Have you ever even noticed or thought about what feelings and emotions you are already experiencing just by thinking about practicing? They are there...and if you haven't felt them before, take some time in the next week to notice exactly what is going on "inside" of you, before you sit down at your piano.
I want you to pay special attention also to your thoughts. Thoughts will produce and emotional response!
The important thing to remember here is that you will bring some type of energy into your practice session. It's just how we humans are made - we are emotional creatures.
Noticing that, and paying attention to how we respond to the thought of practicing is going to change our practice time.
If you've never thought about this before, then you want to first just start noticing how you respond in your feelings and thoughts when it's time to practice. Just observe...don't judge. Don't try to change anything except your awareness of what you are feeling.
Do this for a few days to a week.
Then...start "approaching" the thoughts that bring anxiety, fear, worry, guilt, etc...by not dwelling on them but instead counteracting them with more positive and confident thoughts.
Replace: "I can't do this" with "I will get this if I keep working each day on it."
"This is too hard" with "I can break this down so it's not so hard."
"I can't get all of this done everyday" with "I can accomplish one thing well each practice session."
Every time you have this type of a conversation with yourself (and your emotions), you are clearing the way for a more productive and enjoyable practice session. Try coming up with your own list of positive reactions you can give to your more negative, stressful thoughts and feelings as this will give you ownership over your emotions and they won't 'control' you as much.
Not everything that you notice in this energy will be negative, certainly! Take hold of all of those positive things that you find and keep them alive and active in helping you to prepare for your piano practicing.
Realizing that we come to each piano practice session with a given range of emotions and thoughts and knowing that they will effect how well we practice, can really change our practicing.
So the concept of "Be Prepared" isn't really the issue here. This is more about...you are already preparing; start noticing how you do it and see how you can change it to have a better practice session! See the difference?
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