We all find ourselves in the trenches occasionally. Time has gotten away from us and a performance is quickly looming on the horizon. We frantically begin practicing with a new-found diligence. Despite the hours we invest, we still wonder why the final performance didn't live up to its potential. The simple fact is that there are no shortcuts when it comes to practicing.
Some are blessed with the ability to sight read well and learn repertoire quickly. Others have tremendous technique that can conquer most challenges in a timely manner. And then there are those who have an uncanny ability to memorize music with very little effort. I fear that too often young musicians fool themselves into believing that once a piece is memorized, it is ready to be performed. I have found that for most performers this is simply not the case.
In order to give a confident performance that speaks to an audience, the performer must move beyond the notes on the page. The music must live within us. It must be as natural to our existence as is the very act of breathing. How does the music become an organic part of our being? Time. There's no shortcut.
Once we fully understand the importance of practice time, we find ourselves longing for the opportunity to perfect our craft. If practice is always a burden, it might be time to re-evaluate the role of music in your life. Just something to think about......