The benefits of practicing
So my sister was complaining about practicing scales today at the dinner table. I didn’t blame her, I did it too back when I was still taking lessons. No student will ever like doing scales, and the ones that claim that they do are just sucking up to their teachers. As students, we always hear “It will pay off in the long run,” but I don’t think that we get that. And why would we? We just don’t seem to see how on earth practicing this g# minor scale for the hundredth time this week could possibly enrich our lives or have any long term benefits.
Well. As it turns out, scales might, just might, be slightly useful. Maybe.
I had a bit of a dilemma. I had agreed to accompany two of my friends for their final music evaluations at university, but, my life being as it is, I had no time whatsoever to practice the music. It wasn’t that I was procrastinating or avoiding it, no, I literally had no time. So when I sat down to start learning a Mozart Horn Concerto the day before my rehearsal with the player, I was a little on edge. Until I found… *gasp* Mozart is nothing but scales (and arpeggios, to be fair).
Suddenly, the heavens opened up before me and I hear a choir of angels singing revelations of a divine nature. Now, when I needed it the most, years and years of scale practice came flowing through my fingers as I danced through the first movement stopping only to dramatically fling one page after another across the room in a mad fury. Money was on the line, (let me assure you that as a university student, nothing is more precious and scarce) and I had the tools to get what I needed.
I told this story to my sister. I could feel her rolling her eyes, like she had heard this tale a hundred times before. And it’s true, she probably has. I certainly had, and it never really sunk in until now, years after I finished my ARCT. I guess some things just come with maturity.
Thanks, Mark. I have nothing to add. This is one of those times I can sit back and be thankful that some of the things I say do get through.