5. What is the proper mental attitude
toward study and practice?
The proper mental attitude toward study and practice consists of the student's sincere belief in his capacity for hard work and unfaltering concentration, a full awareness that any genuine progress requires time and a justified faith in the ability and integrity of the instructor. The student must, as the saying goes, 'keep his eye on the main chance." That is sometimes a difficult task, particularly where the study material seems exeedingly difficult or exceptionally remote from the type of music the student expects to encounter during his playing career. But it is absolutely necessary that the student bear constantly in mind that the purpose of striving toward mastery of very difficult material is to make all other material seem easier, and that the purpose of striving toward mastery of a wide variety of material is to assure the development of a well-rounded thorough musicianship.
6. What is the improper mental attitude
toward study and practice?
The improper mental attitude toward study and practice consists of a general misconception on the part of the student of the entire purpose of study and practice. This attitude embodies erroneous impressions and undesirable personal traits, either singly or in combination. In the opinion of the student with this trialady, the instructor is always guilty until proven innocent. Such a student may come to take a lesson simply to see what the instructor has "on the ball." He may have been forewarned that the teacher would "try to change his embouchure" and his visit may be a combination of fear and general mistrust. Or he may have visited so many teachers previously, with negligible results, that the new instructor has three strikes against him before the lesson even begins. Or the student may have such tremendous conceit that he is completely unreceptive to any suggestions from anyone; his definition of a splendid instructor is one who will compliment him, not criticize him. Or he may be the type who imagines that somewhere there is a "magic method" whereby he may acquire overnight the relaxed perfection while playing for which he yearns. Or he may have formed the habit of absorbing the remarks of many different players without considering the source or the validity of the information. Or he may be the type who experiments continually with different model mouthpieces, instruments of various bores, makes and models, lip exercising gadgets, and embouchure formations, to name just a few of the devices employed by the escapist. Such closed-minded specimens should realize that logic, concentration, hard work, and sweat are essential factors for study and practice; otherwise they should save their instruction money. (Page 3 - 4)