We hear this all of the time. Students of all ages will have a periodic busy week that leaves little or no time to practice. The inclination is to call out from the next lesson with the intention to get some practice time in and to catch up before the following scheduled lesson. Actually, this is not the approach that we would suggest. Here is why.
We know that you are busy and that most of you are studying music for your own personal fulfillment so as long as it does not become a regular occurrence, an occasional week of little or no practice is not a major problem. If you are worrying about not practicing then you probably already recognize that the two most important habits associated with making progress with your instrument are: regular, effective practice habits and consistent weekly lessons.
If you have already missed the opportunity to practice then why would you also miss the opportunity to have a lesson? The lesson will not be the waste of time that you fear it will be. Ideally it will get you back on track, inspire and reconnect you with your studies, providing redirection and the opportunity to refocus. In that vain, it can be argued that the need for a lesson after an occasional missed week of practice is equal to, if not more important than attending lessons during weeks that you do practice.
Regularly scheduled lessons are our external motivation factor, they psyche us up to practice as we feel that it is important to be prepared when we arrive at our lessons. This drive to practice leads to progress which ironically enough leads to a greater desire to practice. Conversely, canceling your lesson every time you don’t practice gives you one less reason to practice.
There is no denying that in addition to being satisfying to the student, teachers love working with students who practice. However, teachers also understand that occasionally life does get in the way and they fully recognize the value of keeping lessons consistent. Even though the teacher will not be introducing new material after lighter practice weeks, this situation provides the perfect opportunity to have a guided practice session. Teacher directed practice sessions are incredibly beneficial, reinforcing effective practice habits and helping you to actually master the previous week’s lesson material faster than you might have on your own.
Busy week? No time to practice? It happens. Don’t further compromise your progress by canceling your lesson. Trust us to get you back on track.