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Practicing To-Do List

July 20, 2009 at 5:42 AM

Entry #2, here we go!

 Recently, I've felt that my practicing has been unfulfilling.  You see, I had a stint where I was playing viola on a concert tour in Austria (for trip info click here and go to 2009 PSSO Tour Web link).  I spent very little time with my violin before the trip, during, none at all, and have since struggled to get back into really productive practicing.  I have no lack of material to study, nor do I lack motivation.  I'm just not finding my focus.  

Tonight, however, I think I had a breakthrough.  Finally...  

As I was practicing, I noticed aspects of my playing that I didn't like.  Well, I do all the time, but I really thought about the specifics so it wasn't like, "well, my bow arm sucks" or something like that.  Rather, it felt like I was taking the first step back toward productivity.  I didn't really address those concerns tonight; I just decided to make note of them and begin to deal with them tomorrow.  One must take baby steps, right?  Or perhaps, I'm just procrastinating again.  I prefer the first.  

So, here are some of my observations:

I actually have some solutions in mind....HOORAY!

  1. think of my hand as a"bear paw" again.  I got this idea after having a lesson with David Russell at Credo '07.  It worked wonders with my intonation and helping me to learn the way around my instrument.  
  2. Use my eyes.  Feeling and hearing are vital to intonation, but seeing helps too.  I must learn visually also.  

That's it for now.  I have more ideas, but those two are the ones that occurred to me while practicing.  

It is late (or really early) and sleep calls.  Hopefully, I can make some progress tomorrow (later today) using these solutions.  

Happy practicing!

From Steven Albert
Posted on July 21, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Can you expound on that bear paw thing please?

From Catie Rinderknecht
Posted on July 21, 2009 at 7:42 PM


I'll write a blog on it in the near future.  

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on July 21, 2009 at 9:30 PM

I like your strategy.  I, too, must give myself direction and goals to work towards.  I keep a practice log.  After I've practiced, I write down what I've played and what aspects of it I need to work on or new techniques or approaches to try.  The next time I practice, I read my practice log and work on whatever I noted.

I'm looking forward to hearing about the bear's paw.


From Catie Rinderknecht
Posted on July 21, 2009 at 10:01 PM

 The Bear Paw explanation is up.  Enjoy!

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