Today is day 350 of our practice challenge. The challenge was to practice every day for 100 days. Then we extended for another 100 days, then another. At first we celebrated every milestone, 10 days, 25 days... Now we don't really pay much attention except on the big numbers, like 350.
In honor of our 350th consequetive day of practice, this blog provides an exclusive interview with Gus (8) and Huck (6), the boys who have practiced every day for the last 350 days!
What kind of music do you like to play?
Gus - Bluegrass, classical, fiddle, Celtic, Old-Time.
Huck - Suzuki and fiddle
What is your favorite song?
Gus - My favorite classical song is Pachelbel's Canon. I don't really have a favorite fiddle tune. I like them all. My favorite family band song is Mountain Roads.
Huck - I don't really know
What is the hardest song you ever learned?
Gus - Orange Blossom Special was pretty hard. It took a long time to learn. I was walking around the house playing little parts of it until I got it.
Huck - Minuet 2
What do you want to learn?
Gus - More songs.
Huck - I want to finish Minuet 3.
What is your favorite part of playing music?
Gus - Jamming and playing with my family and friends.
Huck - Playing alone.
How did you get started on your practice challenge?
Gus - One of my friends had started a practice challenge and invited us to do it with them. I thought it was a pretty cool idea so my family and I decided to give it a try.
How did the practice challenge change the way you practiced and played music?
Gus - Practicing for 100 days really increased my skills. Before I did the practice challenge I often missed days and the rest of my family missed even more days.
Huck - Before I did the practice challenge, sometimes we skipped days, but Mommy got the idea of a practice challenge.
If it was a 100 day practice challenge, how did you end up at 350 days?
Gus - After we hit 100 days we decided to add another hundred.
Huck - I just decided that I should keep going.
Gus - Because we had gotten used to practicing every day. So once we hit 200, we kept going.
Huck - Because it was fun not skipping days and it was fun keeping score of how many days we'd practiced without stopping.
What about days when you are sick or just don't feel like practicing?
Gus - Whats amazing how I've managed to do it even when I'm sick and I don't ever really feel like not practicing. Something is always driving me to hit a bigger number in the practice challenge, like 400, 700.
Huck - I don't care that I don't feel good. I just practice.
What kinds of things can you do now that you couldn't do 350 days ago?
Gus - Play the 2nd song in Suzuki Book 4, play banjo, play guitar. Also my family and I can play songs together. I've learned a lot of new fiddle tunes, probably by at least 30 songs.
Huck - I couldn't play Minuet 1. I couldn't play Old Joe Clark. I could only play 2 songs with family band. But now I play many more than two.
Gus - Its fun. I just got a new capo for it yesterday so that we can play in a key other than G.
Can you offer any advice to someone who wants to get better at an instrument?
Gus - Practice every day and go to Bluegrass festivals. Take lessons from a master.
Huck - Yes, its your decision if you want practice a lot or not. That's why we did the practice challenge and not skip any days because that gets you a whole lot of practice.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Gus - a musician and an inventor
Huck - a musician and I want to design rockets too and design playgrounds like Daddy.
Is there going to a prize at the end of the challenge?
Gus - Maybe when we get to 400 we're going to go for lots of bike rides.
Huck - Yes, I think we should have a prize today. 350 is a really big goal! You should do it and not tell me.