But these patterns and routines rarely create something extraordinary. They speak only to the status quo. And maybe they produce a really great version of the status quo, maybe even a slightly better version than your friends and neighbors...but that's not why we're here.
Questioning what you do isn't the same as hating what you do. In fact I think it means the opposite. I think it means that you care enough about what you do that you want to consider it deeply, intentionally, thoroughly.
But those initial moments just before the practice session commences often end up being the beginning of nothing more than a mindless routine, one you've been doing every day for who knows how many years, and one that doesn't produce the rich results we desire from our practice sessions. You're on a precipice and your decisions in that moment set the tone for what can either be a productive or unproductive slice of your day.
And while we might think we're knocking the planning stage out of the park, most of us are probably just working off of vague ideas that swim around in our heads — nondescript, non-definitive, and therefore non-actionable. In the end, this non-approach produces something that is, well, unproductive. Or at least less productive than it could be.
This is the world we live in as musicians and it isn't healthy. It's stifling, it's harmful, it's too much. And those of us who teach perpetuate the cycle with our students. We manage to be both a victim of our own professional existence while at the same time a culprit, or at the very least an accomplice, in the abuses waged against those studying with us.