I discovered The Practicing Mind as I was trying to improve my sight reading skills. Looking on the internet at articles that talk about improving sight reading, I realized one thing I was really lacking in was staying focused and not letting my mind wander, i.e. mindfulness. So one thing led to the next with my public library search key wordage, and I ended up getting this book, The Practicing Mind.
The Practicing Mind encourages you to enjoy the process of achieving your goal through patience, persistence and productivity. The overarching goal is no longer your desired end result, but rather what Sterner calles the “rudder” steering your actions.
One of the stories Sterner tells in the book is about a piano factory in Japan that makes really nice instruments. An American was taking a tour, and he asked one of the factory workers how long it takes him to make a harp (the part of the piano that holds the strings). The worker responded, “As long as it takes me to make it perfect.” And what a nice way not only to work or study music, but to live life. Solid planning, organization, steady progress, thoughtfulness and taking as much time as needed to do a good job. Life is more enjoyable and productive when you take your time and focus on quality over brevity. When applied to practicing music, this concept has been greatly valuable to me. Thanks Thomas Sterner!