I decided to take the dive and go to music school. I'm attending Michigan State University as a Jazz Studies major and am studying under Prof. Rodney Whitaker. It wasn't a tough decision to come here as it was what I had wanted to do since I was a freshman in high school. It's been about a month and a half since my first day of classes and over this period of time my level of confidence has taken a sharp decrease. I feel I have come to this school in a somewhat unique situation. I've actually been taking private lessons with Prof. Whitaker for a few years and this was the main reason I chose to attend this school. I feel the difference now is that rather than having lessons every two or three weeks like I did back in high school, I now have lessons almost every week with occasional off-weeks when Prof. Whitaker is out of town for a gig or something. It's not that I feel I've made the wrong decision coming to school. I definitely do not regret coming here; this is where I feel I belong at this point in my life. I just feel I'm not improving at a rate that I should be, especially with such a prestigious professor. I try very hard. I practice two to three hours per day (I'm not counting ensembles rehearsals, performances, or lessons in this calculation) and I want to do more but I don't exactly know how. So I basically have two questions: How do you fill a 5-6+ hour practice day productively? I want to practice more. It's not that I'm not motivated to or that I'm lazy. I just feel that after I've spent a certain amount of time on material I plateau and am not able to make improvements on it until the next day. The problem for me is that this certain amount of time is very short and the amount of progress I am able to make is very small. What do you do to prevent yourself from being discouraged? When I begin to plateau in my practice sessions, it is discouraging. All of a sudden I stop making progress and am not getting any better. I know that of all of the students in the jazz bass studio at MSU I am the worst and I can't seem to change that no matter how hard I try to improve. Any advice would be appreciated.