Practice Makes Perfect


Ryan Peters (used with permission)

Lafayette’s Symphonic Band playing Savannah River Rhapsody conducted by Dr. Chris Strange at the Lafayette Concert and Symphonic Band Concert.

We have all heard of an insanely skilled instrument player; so talented you do not even have to know anything about the instrument to admire their ability. Whether it be a sport, art, or instrument, we can all agree that people have some insane talent. However, they were not born that way and were once at the same level as you. They did not become insanely talented overnight–they achieved it with practice.

With practice comes doubts with common thoughts of, “Will I ever be as good as them?” and “Are any of these countless hours even worth it?”

The answer is yes. You will get better at the instrument you are practicing, and you will also see yourself improve in several different areas of your life.

To begin with, you will find your patience and perseverance improve as you spend more time by yourself and the inanimate object of your choice trying to get a note out. You will also gain more appreciation for music when you listen to it: appreciating the talent of other players and hearing your instrument in music will encourage you to improve.

Aside from these benefits, psychologist Daniel J. Levitin created a study that found that listening to music and practicing an instrument increases the immune system. Lastly, ABC science conducted a study that used students with and without musical experience. The students were told to recall words shown to them from memory. The ones with musical experience had the better memory.

As we can see, practicing has a lot of benefits that can help you. However, it is not always easy to do the same thing you have done countless times before, and not seeing results is incredibly unmotivating. Here are a few ways to help you practice better.
Set realistic expectations: No matter how much you practice in one week, you’re not going to become the best. So set goals and feel good about the progress.
Play things you enjoy: This makes practicing technique and notes feel fun and not like a job.
Focus on a few things: If you focus on things individually, you can tackle things down more effectively.

Practicing is as good as your teacher or coach makes it out to be. While it won’t make you the best overnight, you are sure to see steady growth over time.