Some of the musicians I know say things like, "I can almost never practice as much as I want because of the pain in my arms." Or, "Because of the pain I just don't learn the repertoire as well as I want to."
So, what do you do when the pressure's on and you need to practice new material?
Perhaps you play it as much as your body will let you and then simply hope that you can fake it well enough in the concert? :(
Continually compromising the quality of your musicianship because of pain is no way to build a career in music. Thankfully, there is a solution.
I have three suggestions if pain limits the amount of your practice time:
- Practice Like A Zen Monk. Zen monks achieve the highest levels of enlightenment meditating just 20 minutes at a time. You can achieve mastery of your own craft by practicing in 20-minute intervals.
- Take Smart Breaks. In between your 20-minute intervals lay down on the floor and rest. Actually rest! Don't use your phone! Studies show that frequent short breaks actually boost overall productivity.
- Learn Effortlessness. Instead of beating a passage into submission, try practicing from the point of view of effortlessness. Ask yourself, "How easily can I let my body play this?" It may not end up feeling like you're working hard enough... and that's the point! You'll be "working easy."
If you'd like to learn more about ways you can prevent pain from limiting the quality and quantity of your practice time, then please do join us for my upcoming workshop this Sunday in Mt. Airy! Details here: