As an educator I’ve heard one excuse more than any other over the years.

“I didn’t have time to practice.”

Yes, I know that you have to eat, sleep and maybe go to school or work, but if you put in just 15-30 minutes a day on your instrument, you’ll continue to progress and improve. If you sacrifice some of the time you spend watching television or checking up on your friends and family, you’ll have plenty of time to practice.

If you don’t respect your craft enough to put in the time on your instrument, then how can you expect anyone else to respect your music?

Yes, it means that at times you’ll hit plateaus and become frustrated. And yes, sometimes it means you’ll have to make sacrifices to stay home and learn music instead of hanging out with your friends. But if music is really what you want to do, then making those sacrifices will be more than worth it in the long run. You’ll only regret NOT making them later.

So spend that extra time honing your skills on your instrument, reading about the music business, updating your website and writing music. Listen to your fellow musicians to find out what they’re doing, what you can learn from them and then adapt it to your own musical goals.

It may be a lot of work and it definitely won’t be fun at times, but if music is really what you want to do, then you’ll regret not having done it later on down the line.

So stop reading this post and go practice!

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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.