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Giving Up Too Soon

Hi!  Laurel here from Drunken Fiddles.  After teaching adult beginners for  years I've noticed a common thread in students who give up on their fiddle dreams too early - people who come to the first class and maybe the second and then I never see them again.

The number one destroyer of fiddling: Perfectionism.  

The phrase "Practice makes perfect" has always been floating around in our group consciousness, implying that "perfect" is the end goal to what we are trying to do here on the fiddle.  But if you really think about it, perfect doesn't even exist in music.  You can always play something a little better, cleaner, faster, more expressively, more in tune, more rhythmic, etc.....  You'll never get there.

Perfectionists are easy to spot.  After one lesson they tell me they aren't cut out for the fiddle.  That they can't get it to sound good.  That they aren't up to speed.  They are used to be good at things, right...

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Practice Tips for Adults

 Today I wanted to give you some practical tips for practicing as an adult.
As an adult, there is no one telling you "go practice" except your own brain (and then there's the other part of the brain that says "let's watch Netflix instead.")
I've been experimenting with practice habits for years and here's what I've come up with that is the most universally relevant my students:
  • Leave the fiddle out of the case and ready to go. If at all possible, have the  fiddle available in a safe place (away from pets, heating or a/c vents, etc)
  • Practice in the morning. Five minutes before you go to work can perk up your day and inspire you to pick it up later on.
  • Get rid of practice streaks. Humans love doing things consecutively in terms of habits. We like to accomplish practicing EVERY day, which is great until life happens and we don't play. Instead of trying to make an endless streak of practice days work on the skill of getting right back to it after an off...
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