The Christmas Lecture

December 19, 2014

It’s the end of the year.  For those of us that live on an academic calendar that means a couple of weeks off.  While breaks can be needed, and even important, there is a danger involved.  And that leads to something I give to each student every year: The Christmas Lecture.

Usually a break starts with the best of intentions:

  • “Without classes I’ll have so much time to practice.”
  • “Over break I’m going to get so much done.”
  • “Now that the semester is over, I can really be productive.”

But what happens is something like this:

Day 1

Well, school just got out, so taking one day off isn’t so bad.  Tomorrow I’ll get started.

Day 2

Hey, my friends just called, and we haven’t been able to spend much time together…I’ll get started tomorrow.

Day 3

My family has plans today so I probably won’t have time to practice.

Day 4

Okay, time to get back into it…right after breakfast.  Wait, I haven’t seen “The Price is Right” in years.  Drew Carey is no Bob Barker.  Hmm…there is some shopping I need to get done.  Okay then- shopping, then it’s definitely practice time.  Hey, I ran into friends at the mall.  We’re going to go see a movie.  I’ll practice first thing in the morning.

Day 5

Wow- did I really sleep until 11:00?  Let’s give Drew Carey another shot.  Nope- it’s just not the same.  Now where is my horn?  Oh, today we’re going to visit Great Aunt Ida.  She’s 112.  I’ve been hearing my whole life that I need to go, and be nice, because it just might be her last Christmas.


Does any of that sound familiar?

Sometimes the break can be the hardest time to practice because you’re out of your normal schedule.  Taking a day off here and there can actually be a good idea.  That’s not what I’m talking about here.  I’m talking about one day turning into a week or more.  I want you to have an enjoyable break.  I also want you to come back to school energized, excited, and looking forward to whatever is coming next.  And I definitely want you to practice.  So here’s what you do:

Practice first thing in the morning

If you’ll set aside some time when you get up to practice, then the rest of the day is yours.  Have a great time with your friends and family while still getting some real practice time in.

Have a great break.  Enjoy the time you get to spend with your friends and family.

And practice.



  1. I laughed so much at the “last Christmas” line! It is an honor to be quoted in your blog. Mom

  2. It’s been over 40 years since I was in school. Sadly, I still struggle with some of these . . . . Merry Christmas!!

  3. Thanks for the refresher…and while I’m not is school either, this was already about to happen to me, again! And I have Christmas Gigs! ACK! Going to practice right now!

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