Yesterday we talked about speaking positively to a student, especially if we are bringing up something that can be improved.

That's great if there is somebody with the student.  But what do you do if you are practicing all by yourself.  I can honestly tell you that when I was in junior high school and high school my parents did not sit through one practice session with me.  Not one time in six years!  If I needed motivation (and that was pretty often) I had to do it myself.

One thing that I did was recorded myself playing, then played it back.  It was especially effective if I could compare myself to the way I played a passage a few weeks earlier.  That way I could hear that I was progressing.

The second thing that I did was ask myself, "Now what did you do right that time," when I finished a passage.  If I didn't literally ask myself that question I got pretty down on myself at times.

The third thing that I did was relied on my teacher for most of that period, Ellen Buxton.  It was amazing that even when I thought I was doing terribly, she could find something good that I had done.  At some time during every practice I tried to repeat to myself the positive thing that Mrs. Buxton had told me during the preceding lesson. 

Positive statements . . . positive self-talk is important.
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Revolutionize Your Practice Time
This book is an "
...idea studded book on the whole practice process... when the student leaves, it should be with the practice skills to work alone. Johnston has generously outlined hundreds of ways to do that."
      --California Music Teacher Journal
Violin Tip of the Day - July 16
* Violin Tips for Practice and Rehearsals.

* Violin Technique and Exercises.

* How to Care for Your Violin.

* Inspiration and Motivation for Violinists, Fiddlers, or
   Anyone Interested in Stringed Instruments.
Violin Tip of the Day -- Violin Student Central -- February 1
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