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Emily Grossman

Late Night Cravings

November 25, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Actually, one thing I am really, truly thankful for today is isolation. I hear so many tales about people who would like to overhaul something in their technique, but have too many pressing issues in front of them, like orchestra, juries, gigs, or other obligations. I don't have anything tying me down but me and my time. Bundling up, I take walks with my dog and think about form and technique.

I will break my practice sessions into several short, focused bits throughout the day. During these sessions, I analyze my playing to root out the source of my three main frustrations (inaccurate, slow fourth finger, insecure double stops, insufficient fourth finger vibrato) and prescribe specific exercises to tackle the roots of the issues. I can keep them as simple as I need for the time being, being mindful and focused on 100% success. As the new habits begin to stick, I will gradually increase the difficulty of the exercises. At all times, I keep as much tension out of the equation as possible. If my muscles get confused, I pause or shake it out and wait until it's clear what they need to do. (I know, this all sounds a bit vague, but I don't really want to bore you with the tedious details.)

With nothing else to distract or tempt me, I feel perfectly content with my own personal Siberia. It may sound harsh, but my mind is clear--and my, the snow is smooth and lovely this time of year!

Even so, I get these late-night cravings for St. Louis and swing... Here's a rendition of Fatboy Rag, performed by Swing DeVille. That's Matt Wyatt, my friend from Kansas City, in the corner.

From Randy Walton
Posted on November 26, 2011 at 6:42 PM
You sound like Henry David Thoreau! :)
I'm sure your 32 students will bring you back to earth after vacation.:)

I can't stand cold and even here in Tn.(which is supposed to be the south!) is sometimes way too cool for me, so any satisfaction you can get way up there.....go for it!

From Emily Grossman
Posted on November 26, 2011 at 10:02 PM
I have no idea how I developed such a taste for my little Siberia. It's more of a love-hate relationship. Some would say it's abusive and tell me to get out of it. Sometimes, I think I might be sick in the head.

It is heartbreakingly beautiful today, though.

From David Burgess
Posted on November 26, 2011 at 11:44 PM
Have you ever thought about putting together a bar gig group?
From Emily Grossman
Posted on November 27, 2011 at 1:41 AM
I was talking to my friend yesterday who knows some jazz piano/guitar. I told him to round up a decent drummer and someone with an upright bass and we'd put together some Django Reinhardt/ Stephan Grapelli-style gypsy swing. I have -always- wanted to play that kind of music, ever since college.

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