I felt crummy the other day. My mind and muscles weren’t working to capacity. I was hitting wrong notes, my posture was slacking and I wasn’t focused. Even though I felt obliged to practice, I had to stop. I may have been well enough to sit at the piano for a few hours, but I wasn’t well enough to make improvements.
We want to master our instrument. We want ultimate control. This requires ultimate control over our mind and muscles. Practicing is an act of training our mind and muscles to properly execute. And the only way to do that is through repetition.
Practicing while sick can be worse than taking the day off. Through repetition, you’d be training your body to hit wrong notes, retain a bad posture and be unfocused. It would take another day of practice to undo your mistakes!
Be attentive. Whenever you feel your body compensating for soreness or sickness, you’re probably better off doing something else. It’s up to you to be diligent and observe how your body is responding. Don’t be afraid to do something else productive that doesn’t involve infusing habits into your muscles.