Elizabeth's MYC piano class has been in a friendly competition with the other two classes at her level for the past four classes (6 weeks). They were asked to keep track of how many times they practiced their piece between classes and then Mrs. Shana wrote down the overall score.
I was recently telling people that Elizabeth isn't that competitive - she doesn't like to stick out (although she does like to be the same or ideally just a little bit better than those around her). While true, apparently this did not at all apply to this competition. By the end she had played the piece more than twice as often as the other four kids in her class combined.
Elizabeth played this piece 400 times. Week 1: 33 times. Week 2: 77 times. Week 3 (March Break): 140 times. Week 4 (including Easter): 150 times. Hilariously, she missed the all time record number of times by a single rendition. Her reaction: "Mom, I TOLD you I should have played it eight more times." (I had suggested that an even 400 was quite enough.)
She tried a number of strategies for keeping it interesting - varying the tempo and dynamics, playing it up or down an octave, or holding down the pedal. Weeks 3/4 were the most difficult. She basically knew the piece and there was lots of March Break distraction. So I told her that she didn't have to play it. But she had set a goal and by golly she was going to make her goal. By the fifth week though she seemed to get into a groove and it became fun again. Quite an interesting little exercise because once she got over thinking "this is boring" and pushed into habit territory, playing the piece got fun again.
We are pretty proud. Terrified, but proud.