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VC Artist Augustin Hadelich on How to Maintain Practice Motivation

"How do you stay motivated when you really don't feel like practicing?" We threw the question over to VC Artist Augustin Hadelich.

One of the hardest parts about being a musician can be finding the motivation to practice every day. While consistent practicing is proven beneficial, sometimes it can become boring and even tedious. How do the professionals keep their motivation up? VC reader Nathan wanted to know.


How do you keep up the motivation to practice? Are there incentives you put in place for yourself? Please leave a comment below, we are keen to know your thoughts. 



VC Artist Augustin Hadelich shares how he stays motivated to practice:

Hi Nathan,

That's a great question!

It can be really hard at times to find the discipline and motivation to practice for hours every day and I think everybody has experienced the monotony and joylessness of feeling "stuck" — where you just don't feel like things are improving.

I have often found that switching things up, like learning a new piece of repertoire or focusing on improving a different aspect of my playing, helps me get out of that rut.

The more engaged your mind is and the more interesting the practicing experience is, the easier it will be to motivate yourself. When technical breakthroughs finally come (as they eventually will) they are immensely satisfying.

One reason why it's tough to find the discipline to practice every day, Nathan, is that we're often always working by ourselves. Playing chamber music with other people can be refreshing and inspiring and gives you new energy for your own work.

For motivation, I think it's very important that you are always working towards clear and realistic goals.

Perhaps you could try and find local performance opportunities or stage small concerts for your friends as something tangible to work and look forward to?

I have to confess that these days a lot of my practice is because "I have to" — juggling a lot of performances and repertoire creates enough pressure for me that slacking off is not an option, but when I do take breaks it's definitely harder to get back into the swing.

So in summary Nathan, if practicing is feeling monotonous or boring for you, my advice would be to hang in there! As long as you keep searching for new ideas, continue getting to know new repertoire, and seek out opportunities to play and people to play with, it will quickly become exciting again!

Hope this helps? Thanks for the question. 



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One of the most celebrated violinists of our time, VC Artist Augustin Hadelich has appeared with every major orchestra in North America and. He graduated from the Istituto Mascagni and The Juilliard School and is a former first prize winner at the Indianapolis International Violin Competition. He received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Warner Music Prize, and Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. In 2016, Hadelich won a Grammy Award in the “Best Classical Instrumental Solo” category for his recording of Dutilleux’s violin concerto L’arbre des songes with Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony. He is currently on faculty at the Yale School of Music. 



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