As I recently wrote in an earlier blogpost, I’ve set up a fall practice challenge. Beginning this Sunday through December 15, my students (hopefully) will submit an online practice record regarding their practice habits for the week. (Please note that I’ve amended the form to correspond to the practice challenge.) The person who submits the most amount of practice time will receive a lovely binder that can be used for lessons or as an audition book. I will set it up and present it to the lucky recipient at the studio recital at Springwell Retirement Community on December 18 (6:30pm).
But what is the point of doing this, other than a valuable prize? Why should you practice regularly? And what do you want to accomplish this semester, in your lessons and in your practicing?
In yoga, in mindfulness, and even in entrepreneurship, it is very trendy to speak of setting an intention rather than a goal. Goals tend to be in the future, general or specific, short-term or long-term. Your goals might be:
- A role in the musical
- A solo in choir
- To be a star!
- To connect to my breath more consistently
- To open up my upper register at F5, where I tend to pinch
- To be more expressive, no matter what language in which I sing
- To win that binder at the December recital
But your intention has to do with today. What is your intention? What is it that you’re going to accomplish today, in your practice session?
- Perhaps your intention for this particular practice session will be openness. Perhaps you’ll choose to manifest this by singing all your exercises and repertoire with a released and quiet inhalation.
- Perhaps your intention will be freedom. And perhaps you’ll choose to manifest that intention by drawing awareness to your jaw and tongue.
- Perhaps your intention will be communication. Maybe your manifestation of that will be to analyze the words and poetry, to create an inner monologue, and to take some risks with interpretation.
Intention can help you set goals. Maybe you’re going to set a goal for that day, but first you might want to try an intention.
On or about November 7, I will write another blog to address what to do if you’re practicing regularly and you don’t feel like anything is changing.