At the end of last year, I discovered that I am not able to easily play most of the pieces I have learned.
My brother’s family came for about 4 and a half hours away to visit family in the area on New Year’s weekend. Knowing that they were coming, I wanted to be prepared if they asked to come over and hear me play something.
I have been taking lessons for six years so I should be able to put on a mini-concert at my home on demand. Usually, only my cats are around when I am practicing and they do not seem to mind hearing the same assigned pieces over and over again.
I attempted to play the Christmas hymns that I learned in prior years. The next piece I tried was “Oh Love, How Deep”, which I once knew well enough to put on YouTube. The muscle memory was not as strong as it once was! I struggled to play them through.
The habit problem
I have developed a habit of not playing pieces after they get approved at a lesson. I am usually ready to move on to the next newly assigned piece.
Since I’m not performing anywhere on a regular basis, I hadn’t really considered what would happen if I stopped playing what I’ve learned. Well, I found out the hard way!
The new goal
My goal new is to form a new habit where I play already learned pieces on a regular basis, at least once a week. As a result, I will be able to play more than what I am currently learning if someone stops by and wants to hear me play.
I am currently reading “Better Than Before” about forming habits. One suggestion from the book is to giving new habit a rhyme:
An idea expressed in rhyme, seems more convincing that the same idea paraphrased in a non-rhyme, which is why “Haste makes waste”, is more compelling than “Haste fosters error”.
So far, the rhyme I have come up with is “Stay Fresh Refresh”. However, that sounds like it could be a tag line for a deodorant commercial!
What suggestions do you have for the rhyme that will help my new practice habit stick?
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