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Laurie Trlak

New Year's Resolutions

January 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Since we moved this past summer I've fallen out of the habit of daily practice - and it shows! I'm not sure why I've gotten so reticent about practicing. Maybe it's just the change in routine involved in moving to a new city, or perhaps it's getting used to a new house - a bigger, nicer house, with my own music room, no less! Not sure why I am so reluctant to practice, but I am determined to make a change and return to my habit of daily, focused practice. I am not one to make New Year's resolutions, but this is one that I might actually keep.
Jascha Heifetz is famously quoted as saying "If I don't practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it." If that is true for one of the great violinists of all time, how much more is it true for the rank and file of us? The violin is an unforgiving instrument; if you don't practice it won't be long before you begin to get sloppy and even to forget the basics. Considering the work, and time, and money that goes in to playing well, giving up on practice is a waste of all those resources.
Therefore, contrary to my long-standing policy, I am resolving to be more disciplined in my practice habits and make practicing a daily priority, focusing on problem areas (for me vibrato, rhythm, and keeping my bow straight). I know that practicing to improve these three things will make a huge difference in my playing, and I know that writing it here will make it harder for me to avoid practicing. I'll let you all know how I'm doing in a month.

From Tom Holzman
Posted on January 4, 2012 at 1:47 PM
The violin is a bit unforgiving, but, at the same time, you can benefit from short stretches away from it. Don't practice yourself into a rut, and have a good 2012.

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