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jennifer steinfeldt  warren

What motivates us?

September 19, 2006 at 8:21 PM

I'm flexing and de-flexing my poor arm muscles. I hate going grocery shopping, and wait until we are eating lentils and cream-less instant coffee before submitting to the grocery store. But today the cats were out of food as well, and we were down to using napkins for toilette paper...uh...(See how much I REALLY hate shopping?) So I collected my list and headed out at about 10 in the morning. I just got home (2:30 or so?) I spent way way too much money. *sigh. But the house smells pretty (fig and thyme candle)and we have so many food choices I don't know what to eat first! I am so proud...I carried all that stuff up three flights of stairs myself! Including the cat litter/food. I hope my muslces aren't smarting tomorrow. If so, I'll just pretend it was from practicing so darn much!

I was going to start a thread yesterday about what tricks people use to motivate themselves to practice when they are having a week where it is just such a hard task to force yourself to start. But yesterday proved to be a very effective practice day on its own...better than in some time. And today I am eager to get to it. The reason? I was discouraged in my viola sound. I had just put new strings on, which rendered my instrument nearly impossible to play and there didn't seem to be anything I could alter in my bow speed, pressure, articulation, angle, approach, remedy the situation. But then yesterday I just took off the C string and put my old Obligato C on, and ...voila....the viola worked again. I had no idea that one bum (really really bum) string could cause all the strings to work improperly. The new strings then sounded lush and I felt good about the sounds I made, and instantly wanted to try out ALL my rep on the new strings. Whew. What a day.

And in the evening I got a call to sub for a symphony that was random and unexpected. I can't do it because I've already got a gig that weekend, but to know that my name is floating around in unknown cirlcles and I'm being recommended, is another motivation to practice.

Some other, more simple ones are to consume large amounts of coffee and start off with sight reading. Or video record myself to watch right after and analyze. Anything that makes the idea of practicing fun, just to get me started. Sometimes I just need new music before getting into the hard work of priming what I'm really working on.

Anyway. Maybe I will still start a thread. I assume everyone has those weeks, months, years....(maybe just me) where it is almost depressing to think about playing, but once you start it is o.k. What motivates each and every one of us? Movies? Recordings? Friends? Guilt and pressure? Upcoming performances. It is during the down times (no concerts or recitals or performances or lessons coming up) that are the hardest to practice through. Maintenance, I know, but it is hard with no goal besides a need and requirement to keep it up daily.

Wow. Longwinded today, no wonder shopping took forever. I must have contemplated the meaning of everything on the shelves...

JEnnifer Warren

From Terez Mertes
Posted on September 21, 2006 at 1:45 PM
Enjoyed reading this. How interesting that just the C string could cause such problems.

And always glad to meet another "hate to shop"per. : )

From Eileen Geriak
Posted on September 23, 2006 at 1:04 PM
My modivation is the desire to play well. I have ALOT of work to do before I even begin to sound well enough to play for anyone but myself...haha...I got a late start.
I too hate to wardrobe..or lack there of... can attest to that....

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