The Art of Practice: Practice Coach Manifesto

Practice Coach ManifestoIn this monthly series, I detail my methods and philosophies for effective and enjoyable practice – both in and outside of music. If I went back and told 21-year-old me that in 10 years she’d self-identify as a “Practice Coach,” it’d probably end with us trying to kill each other, Looper-style. 

For a long time, I absolutely hated practicing and considered myself to be pretty bad at it. The idea of building a career around would have seemed completely preposterous.

Now, I realize that the problem wasn’t practice itself – it was that I didn’t have the first clue how to practice, in addition to having some deeply flawed assumptions about its purpose and function.

While I hope to eventually develop a one-on-one consulting service that is distinct from my bass lessons, my being a practice coach takes different forms – bassist, bandleader, instructor, instructional designer, etc. To guide my current and future professional projects, here is a brief statement of my philosophies, what a term a “Practice Coach Manifesto.”

  1. Practice makes better, not perfect
  2. Practicing for perfection usually leads to frustration and discouragement
  3. Getting better at something does not obligate you to become the very best at it
  4. Not everyone has the time or inclination to devote 10,000 hours to something – and that’s ok
  5. You can still make progress by practicing something for 5 minutes a day
  6. Practice requires action to avoid passivity, move toward a goal, and have something to correct or adjust
  7. Practice requires learning to build understanding, establish connections, and solve problems
  8. Practice requires focus to sift through information overload, be aware of your own actions, and collaborate with others
  9. Developing a regular musical practice makes it easier to form other good habits – such as getting more sleep, improving your diet, or exercising regularly
  10. Forming good habits – such as getting more sleep, improving your diet, or exercising regularly – makes it easier to maintain a regular music practice

Author: Leah Pogwizd

Bassist, Instructor, Writer

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