The Procedure of Riyaaz
When a musician practices, he or she sits down, and the word 'sit' often substitutes for practice. In fact, when some musician says 'come sit with me' it is an invitation to a fellow student to come and practice a lesson together, or for an accompanist to join in. During the session of Riyaaz, the musician’s routines of exercises and scales, technique and literature are practiced over and over, again and again, until they attain the kind of polish and lustre which makes them presentable in concert. The world over know well this aspect of preparation. When a musician shows polish and completion in his work, it is said that he has 'Taiyan'. This is like saying that his practice has been successful and he is ready and blooming. This very same term can also be used in a negative sense in that it may be said of a musician that he has talent but no Taiyan due to lack of practice.
Several years of Riyaaz add up to Sadhana, which means spiritual practice. This term signifies realization and fulfilment which are worthy of great respect. A younger musician might be praised for his Riyaaz, in that he devotes long hours to honing his skills; but an older musician would be respected for his Sadhana, which would include his lifework in music. This means one who has spent many years teaching, performing, and in Riyaaz.
Role of the Guru
The role of the Guru in the practice of the musician is of utmost importance. The issues of what a musician practices, how much he or she does it, its quality and intensity, and how has it been shaped are all questions which have traditionally been in the hands of the teacher, whose presence is continually felt throughout a musician’s life.