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Explore Chapter 1 of Practicing With Creative Discipline.

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

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1. Creativity and Discipline in Practice

Most musicians would agree that both creativity and discipline fulfill a foundational role in daily practice. Although these two qualities may seem in opposition to each other, in reality they are truly excellent partners. Many students tend to be more naturally creative in their work and other students are more naturally disciplined. All students need to be intentional about applying both of these skills in order to achieve the best possible results from their time spent practicing.

Discipline is defined as an activity, exercise or regimen that develops or improves a skill through training. In the practice of music, it involves setting up a practice plan, and learning how to set long-term goals. Goal-setting needs be followed up by creating daily, weekly and monthly plans to achieve these long-term goals. It requires discipline to then carry out these plans.

Creativity is defined as the ability to transcend conventional ideas, rules and patterns to create meaningful new forms, methods and interpretations. It involves finding unique and fresh methods of completing a task. Creativity gives added interest and spark to the daily routine.

Many students have excellent discipline but are not very creative in carrying out their tasks; other students are very creative in their practice methods but lack the discipline required to be consistent. As you practice this week, review the above definitions for creativity and discipline each day.

Assignment: For repertoire, technique, sight reading and ear training, take notes daily regarding your awareness and progress in applying both discipline and creativity to your practice. Reflect on and talk to your teacher about the specific steps you need to take to continue to improve in both of these areas.



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