Recently a student of mine was getting very frustrated because she was working really hard, practicing regularly, and felt that she was not improving. I have been through this many times over the past 20 years. We all think that progress should be a smooth curve, like the image I have included here. It is not!
In reality, even though you are practicing regularly, there will be times when you won’t feel like you are progressing at all! There will then be times when you will feel like your playing has improved immensely over night. The plateau periods are incredibly frustrating and make you feel like you might as well quit trying, but over time, it will all pay off!
So, once you hit a plateau period, what should you do? The big thing is not to quit trying, but to persevere. I will often change my practice routine. I honestly don’t know that it helps break the plateau any faster, but it does help your morale!
Something else you should know is that I still experience plateaus at this point in my career. I still practice and am still aiming to improve. I also still experience the moments that seem like sudden improvement. So, when you run into a plateau, don’t get discouraged and keep on working!
Please leave a comment if you have a great way to break the dreaded plateau!