The Thorny Subject of Practice

Part 2    The Thorny Subject of Practice

The thorny subject of practice has been on my mind lately. I know I should practise playing my trumpet, little and often. I know that I’ll regret not practising when the time comes round for my next lesson. And not practising makes my goal of playing in an orchestra one day even further away.Just like exercise, we make excuses not to practise even though we know we’ll feel better after we’ve done it.

Recently, I haven’t been practising at all because my daughter has been in hospital. At times like those, playing the trumpet is the last thing on your mind! But usually, it’s the little things that get in the way.  Ironing, work, school, homework, shopping, life, chocolate…

But once those things are sorted, it’s all about finding the right time. The neighbours have to be out, obviously. Those you live with have to be out so they don’t complain about the awful noise and generally get in the way. You have to be feeling in the right mood for practice, too – positive and motivated to improve; not too tired or stressed. You have to find a quiet place where you can set up the music stand, get ready, think about what you’re going to play.

To me, choosing the ‘what you’re going to play’ is the best bit. Buzzing, scales, the higher register – I know I need to work on those. But the fun part at the end is what I really want to get to. Will it be ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘William Tell’? ‘The Wombling Song’ or ‘Theme from Beethoven’s Ninth’?

I think I’ll just have a cup of tea while I decide!

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