I started running in 2013. In April I started walking every day, which turned into a bit of running on a mutual dare with my wife. That turned into a bit more and eventually into signing up for a 5K and a formal running plan that by August had me running 5 days a week, as many as 4 miles a day.
|The 2013 Arts In Motion 5K
My running journey has taught me a lot about my own inner strength: finishing when I’m not sure I can, fighting resistance to start on a sleepy morning, pushing my pace when my breathing feels relaxed. It has also reminded me just how fast I can improve when I stick to a regimen and use the concepts of deliberate practice.
What does this have to do with music? Everything.
Learning music is all about new skill formation. Whether the skill is mixing head and chest voice or the ability to sing a diminished scale perfectly in tune, it requires tenacity and a plan. Running is a metaphor I’m going to return to often, because it is so much more concrete than the skills we talk about in music. You can see and feel the results, remembering where you were just a month earlier.
I’m glad to have running to add to my bag of tricks for cajoling students to practice and get better faster. I’m more glad to be on a journey of self-discovery about my own tenacity.