The Real Truth about Practice

Good morning and happy weekend! I hope that you had an amazing week! I know I did, but it was busy. Do you notice a trend, here? 😂 I am pretty sure, I say I had a busy week, every week.

One of the events that took place for me this week, was a big band assessment. Now for those of you that don’t know how band assessments work, I will explain it to you. Basically, your band is given a performance time. You need to arrive at the location about 1 1/2 -2 hours before you perform, to warm up. Once it is your time, you go into the auditorium. There are 3 judges in the auditorium. You perform 3 pieces for them, and the judges critique every measure that you play. Following, this performance, your band goes into another room for the sight reading assessment. Your band is given an original piece of music and you have no more than 7 minutes to look at it. At the end of the 7 minutes, you play the piece and are assessed on how well you played it.

In Virginia, we have tests, Standards of Learning, known as SoL’s, to measure our learning in each grade or subject. This band assessment that I participated in, is basically a SoL for music.

Yunje5054 Saxophone [Digital Image] Retrieved from Pixabay

I have to honestly say, that even though the band assessment is a high stakes event, I wasn’t very nervous. Don’t get me wrong, there was pressure. However, my band performed beautifully. We were 100% prepared for our pieces that we played for the judges, and sight reading assessment, both. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for every band at this assessment. I could see fear and dread in the faces of some of the students as they lined up to go perform. Want to know why I think my band had an easier time than other bands? It wasn’t because we chose easier music to be graded on. It wasn’t because the judges liked us better, I mean we are awesome 😉, but truthfully we didn’t know any of the judges. In all honesty, the reason for our outstanding performance comes down to one 8 letter word. PRACTICE.

Our band practiced A LOT for this event. We had a standard weekly practice, in addition to the daily work we did in class, for this assessment. We had multiple guest conductors come in to give us feedback on what we did well, and what we could improve on. We were given assignments to record all of our songs for our band director, so he could hear our performance individually, and give us feedback. We even had a practice concert, with practice judges assessing our performance.

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, once said “I hated every minute of training. But I said don’t quit. Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.” If I am completely honest with you, I didn’t really like all of the time I spent rehearsing for the band assessment. I mean I had homework I needed to do. I had games I wanted to play. 😂 I will tell you what though, I was really thankful I spent all of the time practicing for the band assessment, when the event took place.

Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act, but a habit.” So, this week, when you are practicing math, soccer, piano, saxophone, baseball, whatever you are practicing, remember that. Excellence is a habit, and make your practice amazing. I guarantee, you will be thankful for it someday! 😉

Have a great week! Go play Acalympics

1 thought on “The Real Truth about Practice”

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