The More You Know: The Importance of Self-Motivation

A fimg_0201ew weeks ago, I happened across a book on a friend’s bookshelf entitled Violin Mastery: Interviews with Heifetz, Auer, Kreisler and Others.  I had a chance to flip through the book, and the few snippets of interviews that I was able to read convinced me that this book should definitely go on my list of books to read.







One selection in particular stuck with me.  A few of you have heard me talk about it in lessons over the past few weeks, and I wanted to share it with all of you now:


What stuck with me from this selection wasn’t that this violinist practiced 8-10 hours a day from ages 5-12 (as impressive as that is!), but this final quotation: “No serious student of the instrument should ever forget that, no matter who his teacher may be, he himself must supply the determination, the continued energy and devotion which will lead him to success [emphasis mine].”

Above all else, this is something I want to help all of my students identify and develop in themselves – an inner motivation that leads to productive lessons, consistent home practice in spite of busy schedules, and the willingness to do the meet the challenges of difficult technical and musical hurdles that must be overcome to develop real ability.

So, as we put one set of recitals behind us and head into a season of new material and new challenges, I encourage all of you to talk with your children about what motivates them, and to help them develop their own internal motivations as they grow older.