Practice makes perfect?

I am (after 10 years) a beginner pianist who wants to improve. I practice, but not diligently enough. On average I think I practice 5 days a week, for about 1/2 hour, so that’s less than 3 hours a week. Clearly I could do better. But I am proud of the effort I put in and I definitely have made a lot of progress. But I am at best still an advanced beginner. 

From an article, “If you’re busy, you’re doing something wrong”,

“We can start by disproving the assumption that the elite players dedicate more hours to music. The time diaries revealed that both groups spent, on average, the same number of hours on music per week (around 50).

The difference was in how they spent this time. The elite players were spending almost three times more hours than the average players on deliberate practice — the uncomfortable, methodical work of stretching your ability. (from:  “If you’re busy, you’re doing something wrong”)

How do you fit a 365 day calendar on an index card?

I designed the calendar to the right to help me keep track of my piano practice. As you know, maybe, to learn piano you need to practice every day. Well I don’t do that regularly enough, and as a result (and general clumsyness) my piano study is going at a snails pace. So of course, technology to the rescue.

Jerry Seinfeld described how he would force himself to do something every day. In his case, work on his comedy. He would put an X on each day in his calendar when he worked. He would then psych himself up to never break the string of X’s, and the longer the string was, the more it hurt to break it. Sounded like a fine idea to me.

The idea with the piano calendar is the same. I put an X over each day that I practive and, so goes theory, I am more likely to respect a string of days and not break the chain. It kind of works.

But in the meanwhile I have a fairly clever design that fits all the days of one year on a tiny bit of paper. That’s cool!