The Practice Notebook

flutist Zara Lawler shares tips on learning music

The Whine Rack


Let’s face it, sometimes you have to practice when you really don’t want to.  Like during the summer, when everyone else seems to be out romping on the beach, but you have to get ready for an audition when school starts back up again.

As many professional and young musicians know, it can be easier on your psyche if you allow yourself to whine about it, just a little.  Try it right now; say “I have to practice,” in a nasally whiney voice.

Everybody has to do it from time to time, so to that end, I am instituting The Whine Rack, videos of musicians whining about having to practice.  I hope to accumulate a nice collection of them, from friends and readers, famous and obscure, young, old, and in-between.

Please send yours. No need to get fancy, just you, saying “I have to practice,” in the best whine you can muster.  You can post them to my YouTube channel.

To get you started, the above video is a little montage of me and some of my colleagues from the New York Summer Mahler Project.  And if whining doesn’t work for you, at least you’ll realize that you are not alone.  Please check out the websites for the featured musicians:

Eric Lamb:

Andrew Roitstein:

Roberta Michel:


(And please send your whining video, too!)