In college, I loved the soundproofing in the practice rooms, because I wanted to make mistakes only in front of myself. (I didn’t really want to do that, even…)
The last week or so has found me working on Mozart’s Twinkle Twinkle Variations, just for fun. I have found myself generally practicing in public – in front of family and students. There are three reasons why:
- I’m never not in front of family or students.
- My mistakes don’t define me like they did when I was 20. I’ve made so many, making a few more doesn’t really affect the height of the mistake pile. And I’m not at all worried that anyone will judge me based on my mistakes.
- I want both my children and my students to see me in process. My kids aren’t really paying attention when I practice, but I hope that subconsciously, they’re noticing my repetition, my use of metronome, my repetition, my slowing down for consistency, my repetition, my gradual growth and improvement. I hope that they apply it to their own work, regardless of the skill they’re working on.
I’m not sure I would practice with the door open if I were back in music school, but I’m pretty sure I’d appreciate the isolation just for the noise blocking, and not because I’m afraid to be heard making a mistake.