One of the most important days in your musical life is the day you decide to put something aside, a video game, a TV show, a meeting, sleep, etc., so you can get in the amount of practice you need to become great. It sets you apart and clears the path in front of you towards the mastery of music. And yet there’s another day that I think is as least as important for us musicians, and that’s the day you compromise your “perfect” practice arrangement to conform with life’s demands, the day you have to cut some things out, just for today mind you, so that you can get in what practice you can and still function in the real world. In a sense this may be the day you are able to fit being a great musician in with living in the real world. I only know of two kinds of people who are able to practice 3 or more hours a day for years at a time (when neither in music school nor a professional musician): the unemployed (and/or drug addicts) and people with wealthy or successful relatives, usually spouses. While the latter is fine (nice work if you can get it), most people don’t have this option – they’ve got to get in the practice and performing and playing when they can. They’ve got to MAKE the time, carve out the time, not just hope it’ll happen. And on the days or weeks when it can’t be made to happen, they figure out how to make the most of the time they have and make the time they DO have count. Welcome to the real world of music, my friends. It’s a good life.
Music’s 3 Ps: practicing (repetition), performing (like for an audience), playing (make music in unplaned ways with new, unexpected people)