Once, when I was about to embark on a new, long-term project, my friend Jeff remarked, “This will be like a little garden you have, to water every day.” Jeff is a very wise man. He saw that I was so totally focused on the results of the project that I was getting tense about it. In just a few words, he managed to put things in perspective in a way that I had entirely missed. As I began to focus on and enjoy the day-to-day aspects of the project, I found that the ‘results’ took care of themselves.
The garden analogy is a good one, and is also true regarding our musical activities. We can’t force ourselves to be ‘better’ than we actually are, just like we can’t make plants grow faster by merely giving them extra water. But we CAN make sure we sit down at the keyboard as often as possible, even for a few minutes, and work on our music. If we’re dedicated, consistent, and willing to practice the difficult stuff, we will see remarkable progress over time. So the next time you plant a musical seed, keep in mind that it may not bloom for a few months. Just make sure to water it on a daily basis!
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