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  • #17152 Reply


    How do you stay motivated while going through periods of not seeming like you’re progressing?

    #17177 Reply


    Personally I like to think about and keep in mind some of the things I tried and gave up on in my earlier years. Some of them I regret having done so.
    So when I get discouraged I just think out loud ” if I give up I’ll regret it later”. Then I go back to a piece that I play well and play it in a kind of Zen mode. Then I try to remember when I could not play it that well. This helps me remember that I AM making progress. Then I map out a plan for the next day to learn one new phrase or tune fragment. Something simple but satisfying. Then I leave it alone till then and try not to think about it at all. The next day when I pick up the violin I feel fresh and ready to be inspired.
    Playing music is a worthwhile endeavor. It gives pleasure and builds character. In the words of an employer I had when I was an apprentice….” If it was easy anyone could do it”.

    #17205 Reply

    Priscilla Gaskins

    Well mostly it is my teacher that keeps me motivated- I feel so discouraged and tell her I don’t think I will ever learn to play at least well and she will remind me how far I have come – she also forbids me to use the word “can’t”

    #17452 Reply


    I’ve found that my unrealistic expectations are a big source of discouragement. Looking at the progress I’ve made instead of beating myself up for not meeting unrealistic expectations goes a long way toward preventing discouragement. Also, sometimes what appears to be a plateau is really a process of solidifying progress made, which is needed to then go on to more difficult skills and material. Accepting what is instead of pushing helps.

    #17456 Reply


    I am currently discouraged because I haven’t been able to practice much, due to an extended illness. All I know to do is try to put it out of my thoughts and focus on the present. If I allow myself to be sidelined by discouragement, I’ll never get anywhere. I can see myself playing in a zen state in my head and, focusing on that when I am in a deep slump and focusing on the present doesn’t help, I can at least go on. Taking a short break of a few days when it gets too bad helps as well.

    #17457 Reply

    Suzanne Cox

    This is a great topic! I loved reading some of your answers as well. Staying motivated can be tough, especially if you don’t have a way to gauge your progress. I try to provide this for my students by taking video footage of their playing periodically. That way, when they are feeling discouraged, I can pull up a video from 6 months ago, or maybe a year.

    Personally, I am a check list person. For my practicing, I do best with a weekly practice sheet where I plan out my goals for the week, and then check off my progress as I go. Those goals can range from “Minutes practiced” to “Learn 5 measure a day”.

    It is always good to keep things fresh, providing yourself with inspiration. Attend a live concert or pull up some videos of your favorite violinists on YouTube. Remind yourself why you wanted to start playing in the first place!

    Suzanne, Violin Tutor Pro Instructor

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
Reply To: Overcoming Discouragement
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