Practicing beyond like and dislike

practicing beyond like and dislike

One of the most important aspects of being a musician is developing a strong practice. This can be challenging when we are busy and have so many obligations and distractions. One day we can practice very strong. The next day, barely touch or instrument at all. What’s a solution for this? In zen, they say that your practice should be beyond like and dislike. In other words, it should not be dependent upon mood, inspiration or other states of being that we often wait for in order to practice.

What I find to be helpful is to commit to at least one practice session a day. This will mean that you will have to schedule it and give it priority every day. Once a time slot is saved for your music, turn off your phone, and really focus. If you give yourself an hour to practice, keep to it, and don’t end until you do. You can take 5 minutes to stretch, if needed. Next, commit to one month of a daily practice. Make it doable. If 30 minutes is all you have, hold yourself responsible.

Practice beyond like or dislike. In other words, don’t let your mood dictate your actions. Sometimes, I find that I am initially not in the mood to practice, but within 15 minutes, that state of mind has shifted, and I find myself completely immersed in learning. If you do this kind of practice, a great energy will develop with your art. You will feel empowered and have a positive frame of mind, knowing you are giving your art the time it needs to develop.The practice of going beyond like or dislike will reinforce your intention and focus to become an excellent musician. With this in place, nothing can get in your way and great progress will be made. Try it out for yourself and report back. What do you have to lose?

Posted in learning, practice.


  1. Martin Metzger is a truly passionate about his students and his art. Over the decades I have known him, his dedication is indicated by his mastery of music and teaching.

    He got a Masters Degree in Education to increase his effectiveness with his teaching. He innovates different ways of student participation, including making his recitals exciting, jamming with students, collaborates and creates events to increase student’s level of music appreciation and amount of practice.

    In addition, his initiatives in his own music practice goes beyond daily practice to include lessons, intensives abroad. He is always inviting fellow musicians to collaborate as bands, and in events to increase the availability and the joy of music for the audiences, and for fellow musicians.

    His teaching, his practice of composition and playing, is not just an artistic journey but also a journey of meaning and passion of his life. He reaches out to teach, to share, and to celebrate life, and himself with his music.

    I am inspired him to live my life as art, and dedication to joy as life.

  2. My daughter has been taking lessons with Marty for over 5 years and he is a phenomenal guitar teacher! He is incredibly patient and really gets to know his students, and how they learn best. I have and will continue to recommend him to anyone that wants to learn to play guitar.

  3. I would highly recommend Martin to anyone who is looking to learn to play the guitar. Our daughter has been taking lessons with him for over a year and has learned a ton! Martin listens and really tailors the lessons to fit the student. They are able to play the music that they want to play with Martin’s guidance. It has been a very positive experience!

  4. Agreed and this can be applied to so many aspect of life in general. Musical talent is a beautiful thing that so many of us benefit from. I’ve heard people say that Music gives them life. Practice makes perfect and yes, pushing yourself to get started will likely always reap benefits within…motivating you to keep it going…helping you realize how ‘worth it’ it is to continue to strive to improve …

  5. It’s so true, and as parents it’s a struggle to get our kids to just start – take out the instrument and start. If they just start, they do get immersed and learn. The hurdle is just to start. For our son, Martin, when you two choose a song together that he really wants to master, the battle significantly minimized. Thank you for your approach.

  6. Our son has studied with Martin since he was 7, and he is now 17!! Due to Martin’s infectious love of music, encouraging ways, and very personable personality, he has kept our son very interested in guitar over all these years, through many stages, even when many other children quit their instruments. Martin really knows the students very well, has a wonderful relationship with them, therefore knows how to maintain their enthusiasm and interest in studying guitar. It is such a pleasure for us to see the high level of skill our son has developed through Martin’s guidance.

  7. My son has been taking guitar lessons with Marty for 6 years now. He began when he was 7 years old and has developed a very nice relationship with him. Marty is so special to our family that when it came time for my daughter to choose an instrument, she chose the guitar just so she could have Marty as a teacher. Both children are very comfortable with Marty and look forward to their lessons. They love when recital time comes up and they can choose a song to focus on for their performance.

    I think the best part of the experience with Marty is that the relationship between student and teacher comes first. If my son or daughter is having a bad day, that is taken into consideration and Marty adjusts how he runs the lesson. He has a good sense of humor and is very caring. As opposed to large group lessons or teachers who are doing the same thing with each of their students, Marty fits each lesson to the individual. This sets each child up for success but also makes it so that each student is intrinsically motivated to succeed.

    We could have chosen lessons that were closer to our home but have remained with Marty because of the safe, inspirational instruction that he provides. We look forward to many more years at Metzger Music Studio!

  8. My daughter loves her lessons with Martin, he has nurtured her love for music since she was 5 1/2 years old. He is amazing with children, keeping lessons light and fun while also exemplifying respect and discipline. We look forward to the quarterly performances finding they keep our daughter enthusiastic about practicing and performing and us amazed at the capacity that all of the children at the school have to inspire each other and their parents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *