“Don’t try to be good; try to be better.”
My piano teacher quoted this from a blog she had read recently on music practice. It’s genius, and flows right along with how I’m trying to practice piano. It can flow right along with ANYTHING, really. I wish I could recall who originally said it.
And it’s refreshing to hear this coming right out of Labor Day and into the get-busy season.
We easily get addicted to the grind, pushing toward goals, and too often lose touch with the pleasure of just doing the thing, flexing one’s ability and discovering what’s possible with our chosen instrument.
And sometimes “better” is simply showing up to practice, when before you hadn’t done it at all.
Sometimes “better” is just accepting where you are right now, and not wishing you were someone else.
Sometimes “better” is simply not punishing yourself for mistakes, including the persistent ones that keep coming.
Sometimes “better” is happier.
Sometimes “better” is healthier.
Sometimes “better” is being willing.
Sometimes “better” is more inspired.
Sometimes “better” is just that extra deep breath you take before moving on, at a point where you would normally give up.
Sometimes “better” is simply being HERE, and nowhere else, letting yourself just have this moment to play.
It’s being more yourself, not being more like someone else.
Music is really good at getting us there. Let it.