Thoughts from a Musician's Heart
PRACTICE TAKES PRACTICE by Borah Kang
“Rather train yourself for godliness.” (1 Timothy 4:7b- ESV)
“Practice is to do activity regularly in order to improve one’s skill.”, according to the the Longman English Dictionary. This habitual action is not established in a short period of time. For example, our relationship with God through worship and daily devotions takes practice. Likewise, our relationship with others also takes practice.
As I practice piano and study scores daily, I always take some time to plan my practice. Since I have finished all my formal education with a DMA from the University of Illinois, I have noticed that my daily time for practice has become shorter. And yet I have so much repertoire I need to work on for various recitals and accompanying commitments. Because of my vision impairment, every piece I play must be memorized.
Therefore, I have come to the realization that “Practice takes practice”. Practice is a habit. Building a good habit is always beneficial in many ways. Not only do we develop our skills, but we also gain more patience. Remember! practice makes perfect or permanent. When I had my very first teaching experience at 21, I came to one conclusion: if I do not have my own habit of practicing , I would be in no position to say or teach any such thing to my students.
In the same manner, Jesus himself showed and taught us how to pray and how to minister to others. Always seek His wisdom in order to build great habits, piano practice in my case. In my teaching, I ask my students to sit still and read the particular score for at least 15 minutes every day. I often just listen to the metronome for few minutes before I practice the actual piece.
Prayer and practice with God-given wisdom, asking God’s rich blessing thereupon, creates the most beautiful music possible.
I conclude with 1 Timothy 4:8, “For a while, bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (ESV).