“To make a resolution and act accordingly is to live with hope. There may be difficulties and hardships, but not disappointment or despair if you follow the path steadily. Do not hurry. This is a fundamental rule. If you hurry and collapse or tumble down, nothing is achieved. Do not rest in your efforts; this is another fundamental rule. Without stopping, without haste, carefully taking a step at a time forward will surely get you there.”
These beautiful words by Shinichi Suzuki aptly fit the situation many of us are going through in this time of uncertainty, both in our practical lives and in our musical lives.
One of the most important things to establish while quarantining is a distinct space for practicing and maintaining your regularly timed routine. Maintain your past routine to use as a backbone, or find a new one that fits your needs better. Find what works for you and your family.
If practicing is too much during a week, then there are other ways that you can practice and further your child’s musical education: listen to music! There’s an endless amount of beautiful recordings to listen to online. You can also make up musical games to play while at home, such as guessing piano accompaniment tracks, musical charades, freeze dancing, or even drawing a picture based on your favorite Suzuki songs.
Sometimes it’s okay to just take a break from practicing. Pushing yourself and your child too hard in the midst of stress can lead to more stress and negative associations with your instrument. While it’s important to keep working, it’s also okay to take a break from practicing when you need it.
To say it more succinctly, it’s okay to be struggling with devoting time to practicing at the moment. Remember to focus your musical priorities on music’s ability to bring joy and healing, and not on progress or immediate results.