Why to practice as recommended – November 2012 Lesson

Lessons go better when the advice of the teacher is followed!

Last Saturday, I had an organ lesson with Michael. I was very optimistic going into the lesson. I was confident that Michael would be impressed with my improvement since my last lesson. But that is not how most of my lesson turned out. You see, I had become over confident during my practice time. And I made excuses. I was often tired when practicing so I didn’t turn on the metronome. I wanted to avoid it’s persistent and never ending clicks. I didn’t want to take the time to record myself and play it back. It’s much easier to deny my errors when I didn’t hear them. I didn’t sing along with the hymns to given the words the attention they deserve. 

I felt a little crushed after the lesson. I wanted to be better but I wasn’t. It was my fault. I hadn’t put in the proper effort. I didn’t follow the advice that I’m paying for. I sulked a bit, but that wasn’t going to help me improve. I made a  list to remind myself of some of Michael’s suggestions (paraphrased) has given me multiple times. These should lead to me showing improvement at my lessons:

  • Pay attention to details when practicing – READ THE WORDS in hymns
  • Listen to recordings of other organists playing the pieces I am learning. 
  • Make friends with the metronome. Don’t just turn it on, listen to it while playing!
  • Record myself and playback the recordings 
This lesson was tough as it’s hard to hear “its not good enough”. But this may turn out to be a very pivotal lesson as I confronted my issues. Now I will be more diligent when practicing and more likely to think about all the instructions and guidance Michael has provided. I will be sharing more about this lesson soon.

You are probably not taking organ lessons (if you are let me know!). But all of us can learn from this situation. if you are any type of student working with a teacher, take your teacher’s advice! (assuming it is sound advice, of course). 
Michael Gartz Organ Recital 10-28-2012
A corrected mistake is evidence of progress!
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Heidi Bender writes about her experiences of learning to play the organ. She started on the adventure in 2009.

She also writes on her website Tons of Thanks, which helps people write thank-you notes. Heidi is also a cat lady who writes at The Joy of Cats.

7 thoughts on “Why to practice as recommended – November 2012 Lesson”

  1. Hi Heidi,

    Sounds like you have a good plan. Following the plan is difficult sometimes but you are very determined so once again you will turn on the metronome. I think you are doing a great job.


  2. When I worked with my kids on sports I always told them that practice does not make perfect but perfect practice makes perfect. We would always go over the fundamentals even if we thought whats the point. The point is you lose something if you are not willing to do it right and do the mundane to get you there. Repeating the fundamentals every practice made them excel.

  3. Music is a journey, this is just one stop on your path of learning the organ. Keep up the good work, I’d love to hear you play again next time I’m in town and actually have some free time. 🙂


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