Yeah, “practice makes perfect” may be a bit of an overstatement, but this ideal is very important to me. I believe that practicing is extremely important for any kind of success.
I have played viola for over seven years. I’ll admit, initially I loved practicing and played whenever possible. But as I continued, I realized that I didn’t sound very good and as a result did not practice very much. My teacher told me to keep track of my practice times and report them to her. Of course, I pretended to practice and somehow got away with it. Everyone urged me to continue practicing because it would make me play better. At first I didn’t want to listen, but soon realized that everyone was moving forward without me because of it. At that point, I practiced everything: solos, concertos, sonatas, and orchestral parts, etc. I kept practicing until I could play them well. Consequently, I developed a sense of perseverance and commitment—irreplaceable traits.
I have had plenty of auditions in my life to practice for. Once, I had a seating audition for an orchestra that I was in. I was very busy before the audition and did not have time to practice very much. As a result, I got last chair. I was embarrassed and disappointed with the audition, but I knew it was my fault.
That audition inspired me to prevent the same thing from happening again. I had to prove to not only others, but also myself that I was a good violist and that I could get a good chair. I practiced and practiced for the audition and felt confident in my playing. My audition went well, and I was very please with my chair. I knew I did my best.
Practicing assured me that I was trying my best and doing everything in my power to perform at my greatest level. It increased my confidence and to this day keeps me moving forward. Although practicing still seems tedious and boring, I have learned to not let that stop me from reaching my full potential. Practice may not make perfect, but I believe that it is an imperative process for success.
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