One of my students has started using this mantra, along with a practice and lesson preparation schedule, to focus her energies as she prepares for an upcoming recital. I must admit, this mantra is now on a yellow sticky note on my computer as a reminder to not put off until the end of my day what I enjoy most—practicing and playing the organ!
With the busy lives we all lead, it is easy to forget that indeed we do have the opportunity to make every day a practice day. Some practice days might include an hour or more at your church or a concentrated block of time on your home organ, while other practice days might include ten minutes on the piano at home or a half-hour sorting through music and planning for upcoming services or concerts.
The month of February provides us with a myriad of opportunities for making those practice days productive:
Lessons – use your practice days to discover questions on repertoire, registration, or technique so you get the most out of lessons
Valentine’s Day – use your practice days to plan a musical gift for a friend or family member. That special someone would surely enjoy a private organ concert.
Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday – before you don that mask for the Mardi Gras party or whip up the pancake mix for your Shrove Tuesday gathering, use your practice day to treat yourself and have a favorite music play-a-thon just for yourself.
Ash Wednesday – use your practice days to prepare introspective music for this important day in the liturgical season that signals the beginning of Lent
The First Sunday of Lent – use your practice days to plan, prepare, and practice not only the music for the six Sundays of Lent and the many services of Holy Week, but also to learn or relearn those rather difficult Easter hymns.
We organists certainly are blessed. In what other profession or avocation is making every day a practice day filled with such sublime, joyous, introspective, glorious, and awesome results? MUSIC!