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Go Slow to Go Fast

Each year, as I teach my students, I see some of the same issues.  These are all issues that I have had as well!  The issue that I want to talk about today is about the problem with being in a hurry and the need to start slowly!51eWpVFjcKL

There are a couple of different ways that I want you to think about playing slowly.

The first, your expectations of progress.  I have so many students (especially adults) who come to me and ask “how long will it be until I can play this instrument?”  Well, without wanting to depress anyone, the answer is a lifetime!  I am still practicing and I am still improving.  We have to slow down our idea of how much better we should be getting and enjoy the ride.  The aim is not to be able to play perfectly in a week, in a year, in two years…  The aim is to improve each and every week.  Maybe not by much, but over time it will all add up!  If we try to rush getting better, we skip important steps, learn bad habits, and never really reach the goal of playing well!  These are two meme’s that I gave seen going around the internet, and they are both true.

I am not sure why we are in so much of a hurry!

The Slow-Progress3second way that I want you to think about taking it slow is quite literally in your playing.  So many of my students will tackle a fast piece and want to play it fast right away.  The only way to learn slow music well is to practice it slowly first!  Practice is slowly, get all of the details correct, and then slowly speed it up.  This is a struggle for all of us because music doesn’t sound right when you play it too slowly.  If you hear a piece played fast and then again played slow, sometimes you can’t even recognize it.  That makes it frustrating, but believe me, your patience will pay off in the end!

So, even though our lives are full of sound bites and 140 character tidbits, in music you need to relax and enjoy the slow ride towards progress.  You will be rewarded for your patience!

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