The blogs of the day (or the page or so that I just read) have been food for the soul today. It is strange how we (us, me, you, perhaps?) get so focused on what we must do...what must be accomplished....our day is a thumbs up or thumbs down as to whether we got enough good practice in or work done, or have had a disciplined few days.
I hate that. But sometimes the momentum of the life, and the spirits inside us that crave this life, get a little bit spazed.
I've been substituting for a friend, going into week two now, and it has been amazing. Since I don't know the students (there are 21 of them) I had to make a lot of notes and keep good track of each name, instrument, where they are, who they are, what they like, what we worked on, what I need to bring for next week....even, I have to admit, to remember a face with a name to the sheet I'd made on them. I've never been good with names.
But I have discovered, or re-discovered the benefits of teaching private lessons. THere are so many of them. Today, I was thinking about how much time and effort I had spent looking through my shelves of music for pieces or etudes or scales or duets or learning materials of any sort for each child (the teacher I"m subbing for has most of them using either Suzuki books or Essential Elements, which is fine, and that is what the store where she teaches sells, but there is SO MUCH more to do with all these kids). I've got a fire in me, really. And writing up lesson notes and making folders and...well, I've gone all out on this one. REally.
So I was thinking...or comparing my practicing to the way I was organizing the student's lessons and my effort to help a new teacher without stepping on toes (it is remarkable what she has done with these kids and adults) but widening the arena a bit...and then my own practice and musical day.
I thought about how many different books I'm working out of at the same time. As well as doing recordign and analyzing as well as well as doing performances and gigs and jobs....and wondered, am I really learning more or am I spread like fake butter over really good bread....clumpy in some spots and bare in others?
I don't think so. Yesterday I didn't feel like practicing at all, but I picked up the violin and started working on one of the pieces I'm really trying to play up to professional standards this time...the Bach Chaconne....and that was all I did. I took breaks and I spent a lot of time on each measure and I worked hard. But that was all I got to. All I was interested in.
And today I want to do mostly technical work. And that is fine.
I used to put my practiceing onto schedules and spreadsheets and tack them on the wall and alot time etc. etc. People talk about it all the time on this site....everything that needs to be practiced every day.
But I've changed my mind, because I've known myself as a working, practicing, growing musician out of school long enough now to know that there are spurts and sighs and olympic days. It all gets addressed and worked through and I am happy with the way things have gone.
Um...that had a point. A good point, too. And now I forgot what it was going to be. GRRR!!!!
Maybe that the music plans my practice, or that I pick up my love and the tool of my failures as well....and then know what that day needs in order for this violinist/violist to continue to be able to call herself that.
Maybe something along those lines. Taking two instruments just as seriously has really made me focus on not how I allot practice time, but why, and how it is meaningful, and what works best.
Oh yea!!! And teaching makes me a better practicer and player because it brings back to light concepts and issues that haven't been through my brain in a LONG TIME!!!!
Now I'm back to playing Dvorak Romance with the recordings. Oh, bad me. I know that isn't such a good idea, but I'm going to be playing it with an orchestra and need to know how to listen to what and where and then entrances, and matching parts. I can score study all that, but doing it is really the only way for me. My poor neighbors and husband, though...I have to turn the volume up mega loud to hear the orchestra over not only my violin in my ear but the other soloist and our non-matchiing intonation and not being together.
How can one anticipate Perlman or Gil Shaham or Sarah Chang? It must sound horrible!!! But I was having SO MUCH FUN. and running from the score to the table to the computer music player....
Hm. That was a lot of good, solid, pointless rambling.
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