Let’s talk about Lent.

I’m not religious in the slightest, but there’s something great about embracing the principles of Lent.

What I, from my atheist viewpoint, take from this is the principle of doing something that isn’t easy for you. For some, this takes the form of giving something up and for others, it might mean giving something to others. For example, lots of charities now suggest ’40p for 40 days’, which is a great idea.

Often, it seems the perfect point in the year at which to dust off those New Year’s resolutions you so boldly made three months ago and review just how they’re working out for you.

For me, however, (since I don’t take a conventional approach to New Year’s resolutions), it’s a good time to think about something I want to do differently or change about myself.

This year, I have decided to do 40 days of cello practice. One of the sticking powers to this resolution is the fact that my mum is doing it to, but for piano!

I used to practise at least an hour each day when I was at school. I studied with the amazing Tony Wollard at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music in London and I loved it! Coming to University, however, I soon lost that internal nudge I used to get each day reminding me to practise. I kept it up, of course, but not to the same extent by half. I played with the Uni orchestra, theatre productions, small ensembles, big ensembles and even set up a quartet with friends, called No Added Sounds. Back in 2015, I played Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major with the University orchestra. Since then, it’s all been Finals, Finals, Finals and cello has taken the back-seat (of the car behind the car behind my car).

So! For me, 40 days of cello practice is the perfect push back onto this familiar, musical path and it’s a great way to build a habit.

Is there something you want to make a bigger part of your life? This could be your 40 days of religious dedication.

P.S. Thank you to my wonderful housemates for putting up with my dodgy tuning when I’ve remembered to do my daily practice at 10 or 11pm at night…


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