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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Some Advice on Practicing from Abe Lincoln

Andrew Hitz

Abraham Lincoln

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."

- Abe Lincoln

President Lincoln uttered these words at a master class he gave at The Juilliard School shortly before he took office.  It was in regards to a clarinet player who was struggling with the high register.

Alright, so I made up the above paragraph! But the quote is real and is a great lesson for all of us musicians to hear.  If you are a clarinetist who struggles with the high register, the best way to improve is to play in the high register.  Not tomorrow. Today.

Putting off sounding bad in the practice room (or simply practicing at all) until tomorrow is like leaving your bills unopened.  Never in history has that ever led to someone owing less money when they finally open their mail.  (Do people even get bills in the mail any more?!) You will simply owe even more money when you finally face reality.

Don't wait until tomorrow to attack your deficiencies as a player.  Do it today.