As I’ve worked more as a professional musician, I’ve grown to appreciate just how important learning to play with a metronome can be. Here’s my top 20 reasons to use a metronome:
I was sick today. I haven’t been sick for a long time, so I guess I can’t complain. It’s one of those lingering, sniffly, make-you-not-want-to-do-anything kind of colds, and today I didn’t feel up to coaching a student for an important audition over the weekend.
I paused a moment, then opened the door into the studio with my “I’m happy to see you” face plastered on as best I could. I am genuinely happy to see him- he’s been working hard for the past 6 weeks, and I’m proud of the gains he’s made on some difficult songs we’ve picked. We sit down together, and begin working through the details of the jazz standard he’s struggling to master. I can tell he’s nervous.
As he plays it back for me, I look down at my pad and assignment paper. I can’t believe I’m doing this. I can’t believe that I’m getting paid to help people learn the piano. I can’t believe that I can work just two days a week teaching, and have the freedom to pursue my career as a musician the rest of the week. This is such an honor, and I’m so numb to it through repetition, that I don’t even recognize it as such. I’ve gotten spoiled.
This is the beginning of consistency- realizing just how incredibly fortunate, incredibly blessed you are to be where you are right now. Every day. To be grateful. If I can realize the opportunity I have right now, take advantage of the blessings right in front of me, consistency will never be an issue in anything I do.
Instead of the clock being something to wait on, it becomes a challenge to redeem as much as possible in the short time allotted. To give as much energy, as much drive, as much understanding as I can in the time I have. That’s how I want to live, sniffles notwithstanding.
As he finishes up the lazy melody, I take a deep breath. “That was great. Let’s make it even better.”.