As many of us have been immersed in the February Challenge, a different achievement has come into focus. Students of Ms. Leah have reached the extraordinary goal of practice every day of the year.
I’ll let that sink in.
Practice every day for 365 days.
How is this possible, and how did it go, you might wonder! The brother and sister team took this goal on by their own initiation. I asked Jonah and Chloe’s mother if she would reflect on the past year and be willing to share the journey with us. Here is what she shared with me. Enjoy, and be encouraged!
“Jonah and Chloe finished the February practice challenge last year (2019) and asked about doing a whole year practice challenge. We were excited that they would show this initiative, but nervous about that level of commitment. We are professional musicians and music teachers, and we have never practiced every day for a year! But we buckled down and supported the kids. It became a team effort in our family. The kids were encouraging towards one another most days. We really felt like we were all working towards this goal together. There were days when practicing was fun and fruitful. And then there were days when the kids didn’t want to practice and it felt like a chore. However, more days than not they were agreeable – especially when reminded of their goal. The second half of the year went more smoothly than the first. We found a rhythm by then and we think the kids were noticing the results of their daily practice. They each made significant progress on their repertoire, as well as improvements in their bow technique, posture, and tone. There were weeks when progress felt like it was plateauing, but being musicians ourselves – we were familiar with this phenomenon and told the kids to be patient with themselves. In the busyness of our lives, there were days when we almost forgot to practice but inevitably it was Jonah and/or Chloe who reminded us that we needed to fit it in. We were amazed by how it became a priority for them and we are very proud that they saw it through to the end. We would encourage other parents to take on this challenge, recognizing that there will be difficult days ahead but the results are worth it – not just in skills gained and music learned, but also in the character building traits of persistence, discipline, patience, and collaboration.”
Thank you, Sasha, for such an inspiring story of commitment to a goal that resulted in musical and personal growth. Congratulations to Jonah, Chloe, parents, Sasha and Jeff, and teacher, Ms. Leah!