As a musician I understand how important it is to practice and as a music teacher, this is the most difficult rule to pass onto students without sounding like a sergeant major in the army. If you read my blog regularly you will remember that I nearly always comment from personal experience rather than from any hypothetical theories, so expect the rough with the smooth in this section of my blog.
Motivation; when my dad made arrangements for me to learn the piano accordion, I was so motivated I practiced every day and went to my music lessons every Thursday morning from 8 to 8:30am before I went to school, and Mr Carson (my music teacher) told my dad I was the best student he ever had. I was determined to play this instrument, my motivation was simple, I wanted to be a musician more than anything else and this was my goal. After about 18 months of lessons a got my first gig, during the next 18 months I was in a full time job and earning more pay as a musician than the full time job.
If you want to be a good dancer you will need the same kind of devotion, but this will mostly depend on your age, circumstances and personal responsibilities. My experience as a young musician merely demonstrates the advantages of being young and having little or no responsibilities. So this adage is true “The younger you start the better” I’m going to assume that you are not that young, and finding the motivation is difficult to say the least.
I started dancing when I was 55, and I loved to dance with my wife Karen, who died of cancer in 2012. I then lost all motivation to keep dancing, but in 2015 I enrolled for adult tap dance class lessons on a Monday evening. My theory was simple “at least I don’t need a partner for this” but at the end of every session for about the last 15 minutes we learn a partner dance and the last few weeks we’ve been learning the Salsa and since I’m the only male in the class, it puts me in big demand.
My schedule for dance practice is; 1 hour Tuesday morning and 1 hour Wednesday morning. I always take my phone to video what we are working on, at first my teacher didn’t like this idea but she has gradually come around to it, and now asks me to take a video to remind her what we have done in the class.
In my next blog in this series I will go into more detail on what Ido in the one hour sessions.
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