Piano as a mini habit

Because Simon’s regular in-person piano classes stopped due to the pandemic, he has tried various techniques to keep practicing on his own until he would be able to take lessons again. He tried programming a sketch that would calculate an exact time he would have to practice, incrementing the practice time by 2% every day, but that soon became tedious (setting up the timer, sessions quickly stretching too long, ways to improve the code more satisfying than the actual piano practice).

A while ago, Simon learned about this idea of mini habits, something you only do for very short stretches of time but make sure to remain consistent in doing it as regularly as you can, without “breaking the chain”, as Jerry Seinfeld put it (he used the method to write jokes). Over past several months, this method has worked very well and we have seen Simon at the piano on a daily basis, playing about 3 pieces at a time.

Let me be clear about this, Simon is not aiming to become a musician, nor is music one of his top interests. He is mostly interested in music as an ordered system and intends to continue expanding his knowledge about musical theory (he is currently obsessed with Adam Neely’s music theory videos). Practice will of course form an inherent part of that continued journey, to some extent. Last but not least, Simon has perfect pitch, so many things about memorizing a piece come easy to him.

Simon playing Fuga by Johann Pachelbel 
Simon marking his monthly calendars, different colors representing difference practice durations

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