September 2008

Note 15 September Songs

September 5, 2008 16:10

Hello again. I am still here.
I have reached the point in my practice journey that I know that I cannot make any progress unless i knuckle down and have a systematic plan for my practice twice a day. The best time for my first go of it is between 9 and 11:00 A.M.
I start on a difficult passage of a couple of measures and I play them over and over one note at a time as s-l-o-w-l-y as I can with accuracy and still miss the mark. When I stop and go on to something else like bowing, scales and slurs (remember I am an adult beginner so those of you who are going "Duh! So-what else is new!?" are excused)
Ok where was I? Yeah, this is my "journal" so I will press on---I come back in a couple of hours after doing something completely different and at 4:00 P.M. something happens and I CAN play that difficult passage because my brain assigns it to another "space" in my head and I can play that passage. After doing it about 25 times--I can move on. Like cramming for and exam at night. When the words all blur together, you go to bed. In the morning you read it over once and low and behold, the information has stuck. I don't know how this works but it does. That is why 2 practices sessions are going to be part of the plan.
Also my lesson is at 3:30 P.M. and I can never play anything as well as I can at 9 in the morning. Is it the long drive? Is it the time of day? Low blood sugar? Anxiety? Nah--just can't quite nail it in the afternoon.
Another word on scales: When you get the pattern, you get the scales. Now if studied scale structure back in grade school about the same time you were learning language and math you may ask what is so hard about scale structure?--However, I just knew about the scales and read notes with the accidentals during choir and band years and years ago--(Like when they used bones and sticks to make music-Ha!) then music theory is like learning Chinese or Greek except now I need to learn it pretty darn fast. I can apply a little of what soaked into my head from piano but now I have to teach my left hand the choreography. Lucky for me I have had teachers who realize that the "one size fits all" teaching method doesn't work for me and I learned the patterns rather than memorizing all of the actual notes.
Speaking of teachers, who was it that told me the story about the concert violinist who had rented a room and the landlady expected to be treated to beautiful music in the evening? The punch line was that all he did was practice scales!
Ok I get it. I get it. Scales are it. I do scales. I will do lots of scales!
There is another reason I decided to write again after a long absence. I had been juggling family dynamics. Relatives coming together to decide the care of an elderly parent. Making beds, meals, and refereeing difficult decisions. This takes a toll on "alone" practice time. You can't just say--"Everyone leave the house and come back in 2 hours!"
Then, it seemed that checking e-mail and visiting the violinist community was a luxury that I could not afford. Now I have a little time to read some of the blogs. I do enjoy your thoughts although I realize that most of you are so far advanced in your study that I cannot presume that I will ever discover anything that you have not discovered on your own at least by the time you were 7 or 8!
The house is no longer a bed and breakfast and the Summit Talks are over for the time being (until the next "crisis.")
The first thing I did was--no, not pick up my violin--I ordered Eugene Fodor concert tickets for his September 26th visit to our town. Yippy!
If anyone you are still left reading this, I wish I could win the lottery and fly you all in to fill up the entire auditorium to enjoy the concert with me.

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