If you live a truly busy life and have many responsibilities throughout the day, then often your organ practice can be seen as a selfish act from the perspective of your family. Then you tend to skip more than one practice session in a row. Little by little your motivation to practice might diminish because of that. You may think, that it's not for you, that it's only for professionals.
Here are two things worth remembering:
1. Busy doesn't necessarily mean meaningful.
2. Not all practice is selfish.
Busyness sometimes can be avoided: cut back on your use of social media, TV consumption, and meetings. Some people can save hours of time here.
2. Organ practice will be seen as selfish only when you don't help others. When you practice only for the benefit of yourself, then of course, your spouse might be disappointed. But if you practice for the benefit of others, if you share your art, and make the world around you a better place, then this is meaningful indeed.
Even then we often have other things to do and to take care of during the day which cannot be avoided. Then think of this:
What is the smallest possible time interval that you can fit into your day no matter what? I know, we all can practice longer during weekends, early in the morning or late at night when our family is asleep, but aside of that, can you find at least some amount of time on any day to practice?
For most people I talked with about this it's 15 minutes. It seems that everybody can fit 15 minutes into their schedules no matter what happens. Do you think it's too little time to do something important? On the contrary, think about 80/20 rule.
What's the 20 percent of your practice that gives you 80 percent of results? If you can determine this, simply do it first in your practice.
15 minutes a day amounts to 100 minutes a week. 100 minutes a week gives 400 minutes a month. 400 minutes a month gives 4800 minutes a year of practice. That's 80 hours! I think you can do quite a bit in 80 hours. In fact, 80 hours of focused practice is all it takes for some people to prepare a public organ recital.
Think about it before you are tempted to skip one practice session of those 15 minutes.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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