In our recent survey, we asked Band Directors Talk Shop readers, “What is your favorite quote about practice or motivation?” With hundreds of responses to the survey, we came up with this categorized list of your answers to the question. Thanks so much to all of our readers who took the time to fill out the survey. Keep an eye out for more Readers’ Collaborative Posts in the future!
How to Practice
- Don’t play it until you get it right, play it until you can’t play it wrong.
- Practice only on the days that you eat.
- If you can play it slow, you can play it fast.
- It is performance ready if you can play 7 times without error. If you mess up on the 6th run through, you have to start over.
- Learn things slowly and accurately first, then gradually speed things up.
- Not again…better. ( we often say let’s go back and do that again. Aren’t we sending the message of ‘do it the same way again’? I’ve shared this with my students, and they have caught me a few times by saying ‘Don’t you mean ‘Not again…better?’ Taken from Peter Boonshaft)
- Practice the way you want to perform.
- Practice as if you were performing.
- Play it until you can’t get it wrong. Progress is the most important product.
- There is no place for fear and music in the same room. – Dr. Cynthia Johnston-Turner
- You practice and you get better. It’s very simple – Phillip Glass
- Be the best version of you.
- Do or do not, there is no try. – Yoda
- Even professional musicians started out as beginners.
- First you have to want it- THEN the work begins!!!
- I am not telling you it’s going to be easy. I am telling you it’s going to be worth it.
- It takes a long time to sound like yourself – Miles Davis
- It’s not about perfect, it’s about effort, and when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens, that’s how change occurs. – Julián Michaels
- Keep working—one day it will happen!
- To be a 20 year musician, you have to start with day one.
- We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
- Be better than you were yesterday
- Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax. – Abraham Lincoln
- I can’t do it … YET
- If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
- It isn’t hard, it’s new. Practice makes it not new.
- Do you want to be the one who makes us sound worse?
- Nothing works unless you do.
- Discipline beats intelligence. A disciplined band performs extraordinary concerts.
- If you wanna be good at golf, go play golf. If you wanna be good at your instrument, go play your instrument.
- The average person spends 90+ minutes on their phone each day … can you imagine how good our ensemble would be if that time were spent practicing instead?
- Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. – Tim Notke
- That’s not hard, you just haven’t practiced it enough yet.
- The harder I work, the luckier I get.
- You are measured by what you give, not what you have. – Dr. Tim
- If I don’t practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it. -Jascha Heifetz
- “Almost right” is “wrong.”
- The band is only as good as the weakest player.
- The man who says he can and the man who says he can’t are both right. Which one are you?
- There’s no glory in practice, but without practice, there’s no glory.
- I don’t need anybody practicing during a rehearsal, and I don’t need anybody rehearsing during a performance.
- If you are not counting, you are guessing. And if you are guessing, you are WRONG.
- Perfect practice makes perfect.
- Perfect practice makes progress.
- Practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.
- Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes progress.
- Practice makes improvement. No one is perfect.
- Practice makes permanent.
If you would like to receive our weekly newsletter, sign up here.
Don’t forget to like us on Facebook too!
Tips for Retaining Band Students from Middle School to High School
Why Band Matters
Use a Stopwatch, Not a Timer – Practice Tips for the Modern Musician Part 1
Learn. Share. Inspire.