One morning, several years ago, I was waiting to lead a sectional rehearsal for a group of violinists at an elementary school. The students hadn’t arrived, so I lifted my violin, closed my eyes, and began to play a work by J.S. Bach. Reaching the end, I opened my eyes and was surprised to see my first arrival, a boy, clutching his violin case as he stared in wonder. He asked, “Can I play like that someday, too?” “Of course,” I said. “If you work to improve a little bit each day.”

I knew how the boy felt. After hearing performances by fine players during my childhood, how often had I also longed to “play like that someday, too.”

Yes, the saying is true: “Practice makes Perfect.” Take it from me. As one who often resisted the discipline of practice in my student days, when I finally made the effort to simply take out the violin and begin playing, the joy of hearing the music improve always made me say afterward, “It’s all worth it!”