1. Read your teacher's writings, blogs, articles, syllabus, etc. If you don't understand something or disagree, ask and discuss...you will learn something. You and your family are paying a lot of money for this knowledge. Be curious.
2. As a student, you are at the bottom of the food chain. Learn from those above you. As a student you don't know enough to know what you don't know. As you learn more you understand what more there is to learn.
3. If you are not consistently placing in the top 2 or 3 at your school auditions, why would you expect to win a professional audition? Your study is not necessarily to prepare you to win an audition, it is to make you a musician of such quality that employers will want to hire you for your expertise.
4. The path to excellence is well worn. Stay on the path. You are not different. You have not found a new way. There are no "million dollar ideas,” but only "million dollar executions.” Hard work outdistances talent. There are no shortcuts.
5. Turn your phone and other distractions off during your practice. What you are trying to accomplish requires all of your focus. Don’t get sucked-in to mediocrity
6. Invest your time. Don't spend your time. Quality of practice is more important than quantity of practice. The ideal is a large quantity of quality practice.
7. Live aggressively and use each day to its fullest. You will never get it back.
8. Be curious, be interested, seek knowledge and progress. Apathy may seem "cool" but it only leads to mediocrity. Be proud to be good. Don't pretend it's not important.
9. Be the best you can be. You are cheating yourself by doing anything less than your absolute best. Don’t be upset with the results you don’t get with the work you don’t do. Remember…the world needs ditch diggers too.
10. Be a doer, not a talker. Don’t pretend too be something you are not. Become great so that you do not have to pretend.