"Wow, music just requires... so much time!"
This is one of the things I hear most frequently when I talk about my long hours confined in a college practice room. Being the Office Registrar of NCMS, I hear a lot of parents telling me something like "We're not sure if he'll continue in the fall, he'll just be starting high school and we don't want him to be overwhelmed."
This is a totally legitimate concern. If something destabilizing is happening in your life, you want to have extra time to deal with it. I've definitely done it before. I just graduated from college and took about a month off, just to get settled.
Here's a list of things that might prevent you from giving your all in music lessons
- Starting middle school
- Ending middle school
- Starting high school
- Entering a new year in high school
- Summer vacations
- Starting gymnastics
- Starting a new job
- Volunteering somewhere
- Being tired after school
- Being tired after work
- Getting a new pet
- Starting to train a new pet
- Literally anything different
Are you seeing the point? Things are changing constantly, and I'm certainly not saying all things on that list are equal, but there will always be a good reason to give music a break. Sometimes it's definitely needed. Like I said, I've taken a month off before.
Here's a perspective people don't always consider, however, and something I (as a card carrying lazy person) have to constantly remind myself. Taking time off is nice and instantly satisfying, but have you ever really pushed yourself for consistency? It's almost easier to push yourself to run farther, for instance, when you're already running, but how hard is it to push yourself out of bed every day to run? Really hard.
Practicing and staying with lessons is no different than exercising or eating right or watching less TV. It's easy to get inspired and start, but staying consistent over any amount of time is the difficult part. That consistency, though, is what gives you the edge over other musicians, what makes you feel really warm and fuzzy when you look back on all your hard work.