Why practice the easy stuff?

As I was practicing this morning, I realized that as I was warming up I was doing the same, or very similar things, to what I have my junior and intermediate students do.  It made me stop and think.

Why was I doing these things that I have been practicing for years if I can do them already? Is this a waste of time?  Am I bored? I don’t feel bored.

As I thought about it, my answer is: I do those things very well and very easily because I do them every day.  If I didn’t spend a few minutes going over all the basics of violin playing every day they would all be much more difficult and I would be unable to successfully perform complex music with the necessary ease to communicate with an audience.

So when we practice we apply knowledge to develop skill.  The easier it gets the more precisely we are able to apply the knowledge and the more finely tuned our skills can become.

To quote Shinichi Suzuki “Knowledge is not ability.  Knowledge X 10,000 times is ability.

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