Why do I practice? (marrying purpose and persistence)

In an earlier post I mentioned that ‘why’ is a wonderful question to ask if you want to connect the power of purpose, of doing something for the benefit of something larger than you.

Here’s why I practice music in one word: Connection

Here are four areas that practice helps me connect to:

  1. Connection to the music – the song and to the larger world of music
  2. Connection to my emotions as a musician – the more comfortable I am with a song the more I am able to notice how I want to connect my feeling function with the music. And I can more easily fall in love with the song in the moment.
  3. Connection with my fellow musicians – Practice sets the stage for comfort with the song, which allows me to focus on connecting with the musicians I’m playing with. It allows for eye contact, being sensitive to changes in tempo, energy, dynamics
  4. Connection with the audience – I can more easily see how the music is reaching people (or not) if I’m not looking down at a chart on a stand. If I know the frameworks, the skeleton of the song, I can make it best dance for the audience by being more attuned to the overt and subtle emotional cues they are sending out.

Practice isn’t a pre-requisite for connection but it definitely helps set the stage for me to be at my best when playing music. And I’ve learned that when I can play the music I was born to play, the possibility then exists that I can move that approach into my work and other areas of my life.

Why do you practice what you do? How does it help you do the good work you were born to do? How does it help you connect with everyone you’re trying to help?

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