In the musical world, competition is something you might expect. We willingly sign ourselves up for competitions, and go to concerts to hear other musicians perform. Every time we hear someone else play the violin, we instantly think “I want her intonation!” ‘I want her sound quality!” “She can play so fast!” What we don’t realize everyone looks at us the same way when we play. When I am performing, I see the worst aspects of my performance magnified and I truly believe everyone else see’s this also. In fact, others see the performance the way it really was, which probably isn’t as bad as you think. Even if you don’t have a great performance, others will be much more forgiving of you than you will be.
What we also don’t realize is what goes on behind the scenes of the performance. Maybe your friend who you thought played amazingly, practices six hours every day. That is the reason she became amazing. If you only practice two hours a day and are upset because your friends who practice more are improving faster, their practice is the reason for the improvement.
I want to be a violinist more than I have ever wanted anything in my entire life. Sometimes I don’t want to do my homework, so I wait and do it Saturday night or Suanday afternoon instead of Friday afternoon. Sometimes I don’t want to go for a run, so I do it later. These things are important to me, but I don’t have as great of a motivation to do them. With music, it is easy for me to get up and go practice because I know I have to. I know that if I don’t, everything I dream of could go away. Even at 5:00 in the morning when I really don’t want to get up I do because I have a dream that my life will one day be great. My life will be great because of what I am doing today. This day of dedication and work, and ultimately joy is the reason that I will ultimately achieve my goal.
Instead of comparing myself to other students who may be better than me, it is importnat to realize the work that I put in and the improvments I am making in my playing slowly every day, every week and every year.