When I was nine, I began learning how to play percussion. I started out studying in the school band program. By eleven, I was surprisingly still interested enough to seek additional instruction. Driven by a family that already produced two other musicians, I began taking private drum lessons from an older jazz player.
Beyond actually reading drum charts, improvising, practicing technique, and all the things a student might do one-on-one with an instructor, I learned how a professional musician goes about honing their craft. My teacher patiently explained that this is called woodshedding. I imagined a small shack in a snow covered valley where bad musicians were banished if they messed up during a performance. Despite his best efforts, my eleven year old mind couldn’t fully understand what he was trying to explain to me.