Piano practice


I am focusing on my piano practice in November and have created a 30-day goal. This was a counter-intuitive choice of focus for me, as things feel so busy at work. But exactly because of the ‘busyness’, I have been struggling to maintain my hobbies (piano/reading/walking), as I noticed they have recently seemed in my mind like chores too, losing the fun and enjoyment I used to find in them.

I took this to my 20 min coaching session & we came up with the useful idea that I have a tendency as a person to ‘push’ myself towards growth in too many areas all at the same time.

So for November, I decided to focus less on my work (which is plodding along) and to focus more on one of my hobbies, the piano, putting other things on the back burner.

The background is that I have been learning the piano for 3-4 years as an adult. This was a lifelong dream, as I used to learn the piano as a child & gave up too quickly. But I have felt stuck in a rut for a while with the piano, despite having a wonderful teacher. I can logically see I’m making progress – I’m playing many pieces comfortably now and can read music fairly well. But I have faced great resistance to practicing, with excuses around ‘being tired/busy with work’. And most importantly I’ve lost the fun & enjoyment and I’m often full of guilt.

So my November goal is not just about re-establishing a good practice routine, but also about my thoughts around the piano.

Here are models on this today. Would appreciate your feedback as always

Model on Unintentional Thought

C: my piano practice
T: I worry that I am not making progress despite my efforts and I turn to my husband who is a good musician for reassurance: what does he think?
F: uncertain
A: can cause negative thinking about my practice
affects my enjoyment
may cause no practice the next day or days – this has happened in the past
at times in the past this can spiral into avoiding teacher & cancel the piano lesson
undermines my ability to measure progress and see it when it’s there
creates confusion: how to even measure progress? against what?
R: can lead to more resistance in piano practice and less enjoyment

Model on Intentional Thought

C: my piano practice
T: I am noticing with interest my thoughts about ‘what progress means’ and ‘not doing enough’ which seem to be something my mind turns to regularly.
F: committed
A: Use Scholars & Ask Coaches to support my goal
Work in journaling on ideas around enjoyment versus growth and the ways I tend to put pressure on myself
Keep following my piano practice plan which I’ve committed to for the month (30 min weekdays, 1 hour weekends, a mix of exercises & piano pieces)
Focus on my chosen piece for the week
Add the rest of my piano tasks to the calendar for the month
Maintain excitement & joy by listening to more music (which I’ve been loving)
Continue with my work on urges – ‘collecting urges’ (=when I don’t want to practice), use this to address my resistance to practice when tired
R Following my piano practice plan despite my thoughts and noticing what I’m achieving