How to Have More Motivation When Practicing


When you have the same repertoire to practice over and over again, it can be hard to stay motivated during a practice session. Sometimes, when preparing for an exam or performance, we can experience “bad motivation.” Playing for fun without having a hard deadline can be more productive than practicing for a recital or test. Grace Lam of Artiden explains her thoughts on the subject:

Is There “Bad Motivation”?

In a word, yes. Chances are, if you’re unmotivated, then you’ve fallen to ‘bad motivation’. Have you ever prepared a piece just for a certain exam? When the exam ended, did you still feel like playing that piece? In fact, did you play that piece anytime soon after the exam? Probably not. If you’re like most people, then the piece will probably annoy you by then. 

I really appreciate the point Grace makes here about “bad motivation.” I’m not sure about you, but there were many times in school where I would have a test coming up and I knew I had to study, but I just really didn’t want to because I had to. Then, when the test was finished, I didn’t really want to think about that material for a good long while.

Music can have a similar effect. It is important to practice for exams and tests so you can do well, but you also want to be sure you are still having fun. If you are practicing for a deadline, maybe take some breaks in between and just work on some fun pieces or etudes to keep up your technical chops without becoming bored, annoyed, or worn out.

Grace is a pianist who helps people create a smarter practice routine using psychology techniques. Her blog, Artiden, features her personal experiences as well as lessons in leadership and musicianship. To read more on motivation, please view the original article at

Cassidy is the Digital Marketing Manager at Making Music and has recently begun her career in the music industry. In May 2017, she graduated from the Crane School of Music with a double degree in Music Business and Music Theory. Upon graduating college, Cassidy did an internship with DANSR, Inc. in Illinois before moving to Southern California where she was the NAMM intern for six months. Her favorite instrument is the clarinet, but she also enjoys dabbling with guitar, piano, ukulele, saxophone, and flute.

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