Michael, these points are so true! I always tell music students, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.” Yes, playing the violin is a commitment. Violins are expensive to buy and to rent. Violin lesson fees add up. These financial expenses are not worth it, if you are not willing to put the time in to practice. I can also add that teens, kids who haven’t graduated high school yet, and adult players who are mostly self taught, it is very often a daunting prospect to practice everyday when it feels like you are aimless in your practice. So practicing right and practicing is really needed to set up a cycle of motivation.
The cycle of motivation
Practicing – If you’re doing this every day and setting goals, you will have a more satisfying experience. Get with your teacher about exactly what you should be doing in your practice during the week. Use a notebook so you can remember what you need to work on. Make charts to keep track of what you’re working on and what you need to do.
Success – If you have good practice habits, you will see success pretty quickly. You set reasonable goals and can achieve them with effective work. You’re not competing with anyone else, but you may be inspired by other players. Playing in groups, youth symphony, etc adds a fun, social element that can keep you active.
Motivation – When you taste success, you become naturally motivated to practice. This starts the cycle over again!
Playing violin is like mountain climbing. When you are working toward a goal, you are climbing the mountain. You are sweating, struggling, determined, looking ahead and sometimes getting mad, thinking of giving up, complaining. But keep positive thoughts and press on. Up there is a plateau! When you reach a plateau, you’ll KNOW it! You can relax a little, sit back and contemplate what your practice was like when you first started to climb. Look how far you have come! Pretty soon, though, it’s time to start climbing again for higher ground and the work begins again. Just remember, there’s a beautiful plateau ahead, but you must earn it, or its not worth much!