How do I motivate myself to practice?

How do I motivate myself to practice?

Find Some Inspiration....

 It occurred to me as I was teaching earlier today that, now the New Zealand National Contest is over, and unfortunately competitions are still being cancelled across the world, players might sometimes find it difficult to find the enthusiasm to practice, so I thought I might share something which helps keep me motivated - beyond the obvious "I don't want to sound crap at the next band practice!"

It sounds obvious but find some inspiration by discovering music you WANT to play. It might be something which challenges you technically, or musically, or it might be something you feel you can already play, or something entirely new.

 For me I tend to write my own music, and even given the lack of performing opportunities around at the moment, I find "have" to practice to be able to play what I have written, (whether in a technical or musical sense, or both) so that when the opportunity to perform live, or even online comes along, I will be ready to go and able to share my music with anyone who wants to listen. This ensures that even during times when performing opportunities are rare I still stay motivated beyond just 'keeping my lip in'.

 There are heaps of resources out there on the internet, free downloadable solo parts, pieces for instruments other than your own - for example I recently arranged a clarinet concerto, and a cello solo, and have previously arranged violin pieces for brass. Try and find something that gives you pleasure as well as challenging you to improve.

 I know it sounds very obvious but sometimes we do lose sight of it in the face of band parts, exercises, studies etc. Play something you want to play and enjoy the experience.

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