One of the problems that has contributed to my lack of consistent practice is lack of a specific playing level or goal. I’m mean, I’ve pretty much counted myself out of the running to be the next Yo-Yo Ma or other cello prodigy, but that doesn’t mean I won’t still enjoy playing music at a less advanced level
The issue is the specificity. It’s like when I hear someone say “I want to travel.”
My immediate follow-up is always “Great. where do you want to go?”
What do I want to do with my playing? A quartet or ensemble, community symphony, a band, entertainment for friends and family, personal stress relief? Some or all of the above? If it’s the last one, I could get that just playing scales, rather than futzing around with two new pieces a week. I know that’s not enough.
so…”I want to go to Europe”
“Fab. What country?”
I’m not huge on playing the most complex classical pieces, though I have a deep appreciation and respect for those who do. But I do like playing with other people, so….
“Spain. Yeah, I’d like to go to Spain.”
“Fantastic! Now we’re getting somewhere…what do you want to do when you get there?”
See where I’m going with this. I’m a traveller still finding her destination. Some of it will be a process of elimination – trying a few things and keeping or losing the ones that fit or don’t fit. Some will be figuring out what I’m drawn to. What’s most exciting to me is that as with travel, my destination may change – or I may look back to see that where I end up wasn’t where I thought I would be at all. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have some idea in mind to begin with.