October 2017 Newsletter

Piano Lessons Austin

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GAMA Music Mailer – October 2017
The Newsletter of the Greater Austin Music
Academy Community

In this issue:

“I Don’t Want to Practice!” – Practice Motivation Secrets

Meet Sarah – GAMA Student of the Month

Try Out A Second Instrument!

Mark Your Calendars:

November 21-26: Thanksgiving Holiday

Friday January 12th at 7PM:Winter Recital

Thursday June 7th at 7PM:Year-End Recital

Special Events and Masterclasses: AustinMusicAcademy.com/schedule

Practice Every Day!

How The Pros Stay Motivated, and How You Can Too.

Rarely a week goes by that I am not asked how to stay motivated with practice. Whether you’re a parent of a student, or a student yourself, what do you do on those days (or weeks, or months) when you just don’t FEEL like practicing?

Believe it or not, this problem isn’t unique to students. I don’t think I’ve ever met a professional musician who wants to practice every single day. But they do anyway.

So what’s the secret?

A couple of months ago I gave a musician friend of mine a call. There was no answer, but I did get a text back: “Hey, my practice time is about to start, but I’ll call you tonight.”

It’s not a story I’d tell at parties, but it does prove a point. This is a very successful adult musician who could easily have decided to take it easy and chat on the phone. He might not have even felt like practicing at that time. But the mindset he built for himself was: This is the time that I practice, come rain or shine or snow or sleet or whatever else. It’s not my time to text or chat on the phone or take a coffee break.

The habit of practicing at a specific time creates great motivation and breaks down psychological resistance. But beware: the key word is “specific”. Just committing to practice every day won’t work (and will leave you feeling bad when you forget or don’t do it!)

The formula for building a practice habit is: Every day, before/after X, I practice.

Here are some common practice success habits I ask students to build:

“First thing in the morning while I’m having coffee before checking e-mail.”
“The minute I get home from school and before starting my homework.”
“The second I walk in the door from work – before sitting on the couch or even having a snack.”

If you have children – you might be amazed at the results. Instead of “did we remember to practice today” it simply turns into “this is a thing we do every day”.

If you’re an adult – even if you’re too busy to practice – make a habit of just sitting at your instrument at a specific time. If you’re a parent of a young child, try the habit of doing at least 10-15 minutes of practice at a specific time with your child. Make this “our daily practice time”.

Don’t be surprised if all that pushback you’ve been getting transforms into positive motivation. And if you have a rebellious inner-child, like I do, you’ll get less resistance from them as well. That upward spiral is how you can keep music what it should be: a FUN process of learning an art that will last you a lifetime.

Let me know how it works for you. Happy Practicing!

Music Lessons AustinMeet this month’s featured student: Sarah

One of the things we love about GAMA is that when we say we teach “All Ages and Levels”, we really mean it! We have students ranging from 4 years old and up, from complete beginners (including beginning adults) to very advanced musicians.

This month, we’re featuring one of our advanced piano students, Sarah, who we are saying a special farewell to as she begins graduate work in piano performance. While studying with Matt McLaughlin at GAMA, Sarah successfully auditioned for the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Denmark. Sarah loves The Beatles, Scriabin, and wine. You might also recognize Sarah from her work as a producer and program creator at KMFA 89.5.


Congratulations, Sarah! We will miss you here in Austin – but we are super excited for this new adventure in your life!

Cello LessonsLearn a Second Instrument!

Ever wanted to learn a second instrument? There’s no time like the present!

Some of you might remember when we only offered piano. How things have changed! Our school has grown so much, and continues to do so. We now also offer Violin, Cello, Bass, Guitar, Flute, Harp, Trumpet, Trombone, Composition and Theory, Electronic Music, and Pop/Rock/Jazz lessons.

Current students: enroll now in a second instrument with no signup fee AND get your first lesson free. Our space is extremely limited (both classrooms and teacher times!), with many of our teachers completely booked, so act fast to claim your spot.

Want to learn more about our school? Our professional teachers and staff are here to help you start your musical journey! We teach all ages and levels, from children through adults. Just fill out the form below with any questions you might have and we’re glad to help!