My keyboard teacher Steve Anderson has told me that he just practices while staring out the window at clouds and letting his mind wander. Since the exercises that I practice for my keyboard lessons are very technical and theoretical, I thought “Yeah, because you are great and all of this stuff is easy for you!”
Then a few times I caught my mind wandering a little while practicing at home, and I found myself playing the material better than ever. It was like my mind forgot that these exercises are supposed to be difficult, and I started to just trust myself to play them right.
It’s interesting how mental blocks such as these can impede musical progress.